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Back to Basics: APC Payment Methodology

Author: Tomak, Tracey

Source: CodeWrite | AHIMA newsletter article

Publication Date: April 2017



In August of 2000, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced the Ambulatory Payment Classifications (APCs) under the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS). The objective of the APC payment system was to control costs and increase efficiencies for outpatient ser....

New Study Illuminates the Ongoing Road to ICD-10 Productivity and Optimization

Author: Alakrawi, Zahraa M; Watzlaf, Valerie J.M.; Nemchik, Scot; Sheridan, Patty Thierry

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes | Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2017



To quantify the impact of ICD-10-CM/PCS (ICD-10) on coding productivity, Ciox Health, in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Health Information Management, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, conducted a previous study published in the August 2016....

CY 2017 OPPS Update

Author: Comfort, Angie

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes | Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2017



As last year drew to a close, facilities began the looming task of reviewing the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) final rule to ensure their chargemaster and systems were up-to-date with the 2017 changes. The final rule for calendar year (CY) 2017 was released on Novem....

Coding Roundtable Coordinators Toolkit

Author: AHIMA Work Group

Source: AHIMA toolkit

Publication Date: 2017

The goals of the coding roundtable coordinator include:

  • Improving coding skills through education
  • Providing local networking opportunities
  • Attracting new members to the coding and HIM profession
  • Creating an environment that facilitates mentoring
  • Sharing coding practices, challenges, and requirements to affect policy in the industry

Role of Coding and Documentation in the Quality Payment Program

Author: DeVault, Kathryn; Easterling, Sharon; Huey, Kim

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes | Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2017



In the current era of healthcare transformation, the continuing importance of documentation and coding cannot be overstated. With the multitude of acronyms being added to the healthcare vocabulary, one may wonder where documentation and coding fits in. It’s important to remember that....

Provider’s Condensed Resource for Revenue Cycle, Coding Tools, and More

Author: Clack, Crystal; Freeman, Rae; Lewis, Laquette

Source: AHIMA practice brief | Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2017


A cyclone of regulatory requirements for providers has officially touched down in the United States. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), patient-centered medical home (PCMH), and value-based purchasing (VBP) initiatives are contributing to dramat....

Clinical Validation: the Next Level of CDI (December 2016 update)

Author: Denton, Debra Beisel; Endicott, Melanie; Ericson, Cheryl E; Love, Tammy R.; McDonald, Lori; Willis, Daphne

Source: AHIMA practice brief

Publication Date: December 2016


One of the more challenging tasks for both coding and clinical documentation improvement (CDI) professionals is clinical validation. This is a relatively new responsibility that has evolved as CDI programs mature and CDI and coding professionals advance their knowledge and collaboration on clin....

Hypertension Coding - Crisis Averted

Author: Lojewski, Tedi

Source: CodeWrite | AHIMA newsletter article

Publication Date: December 2016



Thanks to the recent publication of the ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting FY 2017, the past controversy over the interpretation of the term "With" has been resolved.1 The revision of Section I.A.15, "With," now incorporates what was previously clarified in AHA Coding C....

Coding Viral Sepsis

Author: Sanvik, Gina

Source: AHIMA blog post | Journal of AHIMA - website

Publication Date: November 10, 2016




How to code viral sepsis has been a topic of discussion on AHIMA’s Engage Coding, Classification and Reimbursement community, and has be the subject of several inquiries to AHIMA’s Code-CheckTM coding question service.


The viral sepsis coding confusion may com....

Hospice Coding Left Out?

Author: Zastoupil, Shawna

Source: AHIMA newsletter article | CodeWrite

Publication Date: October 2016




Like many other healthcare settings, hospices are starting their journey into coding compliance. Before the first Federal Regulation (FY 2013), which addressed diagnosis coding clarification, hospices typically reported one code on their claims. Since that time, the Department of Heal....

Winning the Coding Trifecta: CAC, CDI, and ICD-10. How CAC Can Strengthen Your CDI Program and Increase Collaboration with Coding and Quality Improvement

Author: Whittle, Kelly

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2016



It’s no surprise that the volume of clinical documentation has multiplied exponentially with the advent of electronic health records (EHRs). Templates, shortcuts, drop-down menus, and copy-and-paste functions make it easier than ever to document copious amounts of data with just a few cli....

Improving Coding and Documentation Quality Through Real-Time Collaboration: Nurses and Coding Professionals Team Up to Tackle Documentation Issues

Author: Horn, Kelli; Younger, Adrienne; Snow, Trevor

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2016



While working through the recent implementation of ICD-10, leaders at Ardent Health Services began to focus on the re-bill process and what it would look like in the months following use of the new code set. Re-billing means submitting a corrected bill to the payer after it has been rejec....

AHIMA's Whistleblower Policy

Author: AHIMA

Source: AHIMA newsletter article

Publication Date: June 2016

AHIMA is committed to the highest possible standards of ethical, moral, and legal business conduct. In line with this commitment, we have a whistleblower policy to provide an avenue for volunteers to raise concerns while assuring that they will be protected from reprisals or victimization for whistleblowing.

Ethical Standards for Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) Professionals (2016)

Author: AHIMA

Source: AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2016

The AHIMA Ethical Standards for Clinical Documentation Improvement Professionals are intended to assist in decision making processes and actions, outline expectations for making ethical decisions in the workplace, and demonstrate the professionals' commitment to integrity. They are relevant to all clinical documentation improvement professionals and to those who manage the clinical documentation improvement (CDI) function, regardless of the healthcare setting in which they work.

Analyzing Eight Months of ICD-10

Author: Butler, Mary

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2016



Teachers know there are two kinds of students. Student A studies and does their assigned reading throughout the whole semester, earning extra credit where they can. When the final exam rolls up, they’re anxious but prepared—they did their homework. Student B, on the other hand, has the sa....

Nothing Lasts Forever: How Physicians Can Prepare for the End of the One-Year Amnesty from Post Payment Reviews Due to Unspecified Codes

Author: Lee, Christine

Source: ICD-TEN Top Emerging News | AHIMA newsletter article

Publication Date: May 2016




Just as ocean tides shift with the earth's gravitational pull, physician practice administrators align staff and focus resources to address their organizations' most pressing concerns. This year, the tsunami grabbing administrators' attention is the conclusion of a one-year grace peri....

Assigning Advance Care Planning Codes

Author: Huey, Kim

Source: CodeWrite

Publication Date: May 2016



Physicians have a new opportunity to bill and be paid separately for a counseling service they may already be performing. Advance Care Planning codes 99497-99498 were introduced in Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) in 2015 but were not paid by Medicare until January 1, 2016. CPT code 9....

Bringing Physician Practices into the HIM Fold: Guidance on Making a Smooth Transition and Ensuring the MD/Hospital/HIM Relationship Remains Mutually Beneficial

Author: Lee, Christine

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2016



According to the American Medical Association (AMA), physician practices continued a slow but steady transition toward hospital ownership in 2015. In their July 2015 study, the AMA reported a decrease in physician-owned practices alongside a continual increase in physicians working direct....

FY 2016 CPT Updates

Author: Clack, Crystal

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes | Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2016



When the first edition of the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) was released in 1966, there were only 3,554 codes. In 2016, CPT, published by the American Medical Association (AMA), is celebrating its 50th birthday with 10,000 CPT codes. This year’s CPT updates include 140 codes added,....

Using Additional Diagnoses to Improve Productivity

Author: Martin, Ginny

Source: CodeWrite

Publication Date: February 2016



ICD-10 has now been in effect for several months and coding professionals have become more familiar with the new codes and guidelines. The initial training and education is complete and ongoing quality reviews are being done to analyze coding accuracy. But what else can this data tell us?....

Revisiting Unrelated Surgical Procedures (MS-DRGs 981-989)

Author: Wilson, Donna D

Source: CodeWrite

Publication Date: February 2016



Make a fresh start in the new year by revamping coding compliance plans to include a second level review of all claims that group into MS-DRGs 981-989 (Operating Room Procedure/Unrelated to Principal Diagnosis). Historically, MS-DRGs 981-989 have been "low hanging fruit" for outside audito....

Post ICD-10 Implementation: Where Are We Now?

Author: Maccariella-Hafey, Patricia C

Source: CodeWrite

Publication Date: November 2015



We heard deep sighs of relief as October 1, 2015, came and went and ICD-10 was finally implemented in the United States. This has been a long time coming for coding and documentation improvement professionals in the HIM world. At the time of this article's writing, we are two weeks into im....

ICD-10 Two Weeks In: How’s it Going?

Author: Butler, Mary

Source: Journal of AHIMA - website

Publication Date: October 2015




Two-plus weeks into the transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS, the chaos predicted by many groups that protested the code sets’ implementation for years has not come to fruition. In fact, preliminary reports from providers, commercial payers, and coding consultants indicate quite the oppo....

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