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What’s the Difference? SNOMED CT and ICD Systems are Suited for Different Purposes

Author: Stearns, Mike; Fuller, Jan C.

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

Publication Date: November 2014



The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and SNOMED CT are similar in that both systems have alphanumeric codes associated with clinical concepts. But the systems differ in their purpose and structure, and are best used in different ways in healthcare. For starters, ICD is a cla....

Use Data Mining Findings as a Tool to Support CDI Education

Author: Easterling, Sharon; Endicott, Melanie; Lojewski, Tedi; Maccariella-Hafey, Patricia C; Martin, Ginny

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

Publication Date: July 2014



Clinical validation involves the clinical review of a case to determine whether or not the patient truly possesses the conditions documented in the health record. Productivity and coding quality often suffer when the health record lacks accurate documentation to support the claim, and cur....

Understanding National Coverage Policies: Navigating the Maze of HACs, Serious Reportable Events, and Wrong Surgical Sites

Author: Cook, Jane; D'Amato, Cheryl; Garrett, Gail S.; Ruhnau-Gee, Becky; Hyde, Linda A.; Novak, Natalie

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: June 2009


Present on admission indicators, hospital-acquired conditions, serious reportable events, and “wrong” surgical events are each hot topics. However, they also can be a hot topic together, because a number of these reporting requirements are interrelated. HIM professionals must under....

Understanding Diabetes Mellitus

Author: Huff, Garry L.

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: November 2003


Diabetes mellitus represents a group of disorders that are characterized by hyperglycemia. The clinical and ICD-9-CM classification of diabetes mellitus have evolved as understanding of insulin physiology has expanded. This article will explain diabetes mellitus and its ICD-9-CM classification....

Trouble with DRGs: Part 2

Author: Mahoney, Robert J.

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: March 2005


Last issue’s article presented some ways that DRG criteria redefine well-established clinical entities such as respiratory failure and sepsis. This article will discuss two other incompatibilities between DRG criteria and clinical practice: the clinical distinctions required by the DRG s....

Trouble with DRGs

Author: Mahoney, Robert J.

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: February 2005


A major frustration among coding professionals, particularly in the inpatient setting, is the difficulty in translating physician documentation into diagnostic related group (DRG) data. Some hospitals have attempted to improve their coding effectiveness by establishing time-consuming physician....

Three-Day Window Updates

Author: Garrett, Gail S.

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: June 2011


The Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010 was signed into law on June 25, 2010. One of its provisions revised the three-day payment policy, or the so-called "three-day DRG window."

This article highlights the changes to the three-da....

The Respiratory System and ICD-10-CM/PCS

Author: DeVault, Kathryn

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: January 2012


The transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS will provide coding professionals with the opportunity to enhance and improve their coding skills. However, it will also require coders brush up on their anatomy and physiology knowledge. This is the perfect time to gain a better understanding of the differences....

The Circulatory System and ICD-10-CM/PCS

Author: Barta, Ann

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: May 2011


Many coding professionals will need to learn new terminology and brush up on their anatomy and physiology (A&P) knowledge to prepare for the ICD-10-CM/PCS transition. Although it is still too early for intense training on the new code sets, now is the time for coding professionals to gain....

Strategies for Remote Coding Success: Remote Coding Program Helps Norman Regional Retain Quality Coders

Author: Miller, Amy; Ridpath, Debra

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: October 2010


Remote coding is helping organizations attract and retain experienced coding professionals at a time when highly skilled coding professionals are in short supply. Successfully implementing a remote coding program requires that facilities have their entire clinical documentation online and qual....

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

Author: Prophet, Sue

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: March 1998


The term "erythema multiforme" was first used by von Hebra in 1866 to describe a disease characterized by symmetrically distributed, pleomorphic, evolving cutaneous lesions, located primarily on the extremities, and by a proclivity for recurrence. In 1922, Stevens and Johnson....

Staying Alert on Sleep Medicine Coding

Author: Kostick, Karen M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: May 2011


The field of sleep medicine is rapidly expanding, and its coding and reimbursement are attracting more attention from federal and state governments, public health organizations, scientists, payers, auditors, the transportation industry, and healthcare consumers. Emerging topics in the area of....

Society for Clinical Coding Comes Around as CoP

Author: D'Amato, Cheryl; Hoag, Patience J.; Crocker, Elsa; Neville, Deborah; Carpenter-Barbee, Cheryl; Bartell, Laurie

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: June 2002


Remember the glorious Knights of the Round Table who made Camelot famous? King Arthur created a meeting place with special significance, a roundtable at which every seat had equal worth. AHIMA has embraced the spirit of this concept in a program known as coding roundtables, which are designed....

Sepsis, Related Terms Cause Confusion for Coders: Set the Record Straight About Sepsis, SIRS, Septic Shock

Author: Prophet-Bowman, Sue

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: May 2003


Sepsis, severe sepsis, SIRS, and septic shock have long been a source of confusion for coders. New ICD-9-CM codes established recently for Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS), and additional proposed code revisions have added to the confusion regarding the differentiation among these....

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....

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Author: Prophet, Sue

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: November 1998


Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, and other organs in the body. An autoimmune disease is one in which the body tissues are mistakenly attacked by the body's own immune system. Patients have antibodies in....

Reporting Codes Accurately

Author: Giannangelo, Kathy

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: September 2005


Coding professionals routinely review records and, when appropriate, query physicians to clarify a condition. Once the specifics are known, ICD-9-CM is used to determine the appropriate codes to record a patient’s diagnosis and report the healthcare claim. Coding professionals know that....

Quest for Quality and Comparability in the National Healthcare Database: Announcing A Payer’s Guide to Health Care Data Quality and Integrity

Author: AHIMA Coding Policy and Strategy Committee

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: September 1996


As the computer-based patient record slowly becomes a reality, the need has never been greater for a national cooperative effort to recognize and apply uniform terminology and coding guidelines for both the clinical community and fiscal intermediaries. AHIMA’s Coding Policy and Strategy Commit....

Putting Productivity Plans to Work

Author: Dunn, Rose T

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: October 2001




This is the last in a series of three "Coding Notes" articles addressing productivity measurement and incentive plans for coding professionals. The April Journal of AHIMA (vol. 72, no. 4) article discussed the general principles of developing facility-specific productivity m....

Problem List Coding in e-HIM

Author: Fraser, Greg

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: July 2005


In 1968 Larry Weed, MD, introduced the idea that a complete and accurate problem list is an essential component of the medical record.1 The problem-oriented medical record (POMR), in which all data contained in the medical record can be linked to a list of problems, has been almost universally....

Preparing the Physician Office for HIPAA

Author: Uppena, Mary

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: February 2001




Change has been a constant factor in coding and reimbursement with the intensified focus on billing, compliance, and cost control. Out of necessity, coding professionals in physician settings have learned to be organized, adaptable, and armed with the latest information. The mandates....

Preparing for the CAC Transition

Author: Bronnert, June

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: July 2011


One of the biggest technology advancements to influence coding since encoding systems is computer-assisted coding. CAC is the "use of computer software that automatically generates a set of medical codes for review, validation, and use based upon clinical documentation provided by healthcare p....

Overview of the ESRD PPS

Author: Nelson, Tanai S

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: November 2010


In August the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services established a new prospective payment system (PPS) for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) facilities. The ESRD PPS will provide a single payment to ESRD facilities for renal dialysis services and other items and services related to home dial....

Obstetric Coding in ICD-10-CM/PCS

Author: Barta, Ann

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: June 2010


ICD-10-CM/PCS will capture a greater level of specificity for obstetric coding. This article highlights some of the new features in coding obstetric cases with ICD-10-CM/PCS.
OB Diagnoses Coding with ICD-10-CM

Obstetric cases require diagnosis codes from chapter 15 of ICD-10-CM,....

Next Generation of E/M Guidelines

Author: Hill, Emily

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: November 2000


Few non-clinical issues have inspired as much discussion, revision, and anxiety as the evaluation and management (E/M) services and their accompanying documentation guidelines. E/M services have produced a cottage industry focused on ensuring that medical records contain necessary docu....

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....

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