A recent article showcases corporate America once again overcompensating failure and highlights the need for corporations to stop rewarding failure and in the process containing skyrocketing costs. Yes, this applies to For Profit Healthcare entities. https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6318586055335518208
I hear all the time from coders, “oh I have that one memorized.” Or they say, “I hate ICD-10 because I had so many ICD-9 committed to memory.”
Coding isn’t about memorization of individual codes. It’s all about guidelines. Focus your memorization on the guidance and you can apply the correct codes to any given scenario.
Let’s take HTN for example. Most have found it easy to memorize the ICD-10-CM Hypertension code I10. But what they fail to realize is I10 isn’t always going to be your code for documented hypertension.
Know your guidelines such as when both HTN and CKD are documented, you use the combination code and linkage is assumed between these conditions. This was true of ICD-9 and still true in ICD-10-CM coding guidelines.
Over the years, I have reviewed an endless number of candidates’ pre-hire coding tests, and I can tell you with much dismay that it was often coded incorrectly, even by those with years of experience. You took a pre-hire test but you didn’t use your book and the guidelines? I am often left to wonder how much could this person possibly know about coding if they don’t even bother to look in the front of the book. Sometimes I even received nasty emails telling me how bad the test was and we were “wrong”. A pre-hire test is a test of your knowledge. Don’t sell yourself short by not using all your resources. After all, that is what you are trying to do, “sell yourself” so to speak and your skills. Lashing out at someone after not passing a test isn’t going to get your foot in the door.
Again, I circle back to know your guidelines and resources! Focusing on code memorization misses the entire point. A coder is expected to possess the knowledge of how and why to apply a code in a given scenario, not on how well they can memorize a list. And there is that not so little resource known as Coding Clinic©. Not knowing it’s published guidance can and will hurt you, especially if you are working or seeking work in the inpatient/facility setting. Maybe you think the cost is too great, but remember, you are investing in your future. The consequences of ignorance can be great; it is ultimately the coders responsibility to keep current with all guidance. Knowing and using all the tools of your chosen trade is the best investment you can make in yourself, now and for the future.
Ronni Knight, CCS, CPC, CRC, AHIMA Approved ICD-10 CM/PCS Trainer
Director of Operations
Compliant Coding Systems
Tips for Working Remotely
Working remotely is like having the best of both worlds, right? You get to work from home in your pajamas, have no commute, and possibly no daycare but there can be challenges as well. I’m going to lay out the pros, cons and solutions to working out of your home office.
Define Your Space
If you don’t have the luxury of a separate home office, you may need to create one. It may be a desk tucked into a corner, a breakfast bar or even your kitchen table – wherever it is make sure the people that live with you know that it’s hands off! Stay organized with hanging files, binders and labeled containers. Purchase a comfortable ergonomic chair – this is especially important if you are working at a computer all day.
Even Though You’re Home You’re Still Working
People sometimes believe that because you work from home you can chat on the phone for an hour or go out for an afternoon of shopping. Politely remind your friends and family that just as they have set work hours, so do you.
Which brings me to another point…
Stick to a Work Schedule
It is very easy to fall into the trap of working all the time when you work from home. Your work is very accessible, you see every email and everything seems urgent. It is not healthy to work all the time and it is unfair to your partner and/or children who would like to spend time with you. Set your work hours and stick to it. The flip side to that is that it is also too easy to give in to temptation and neglect your “bread and butter”. You don’t want to end up “unemployed from home” so make sure you don’t lose sight of what “work from home” truly means.
Home with the Kids
Working from home does offer the ability to forgo daycare, however; sometimes some form of outside help is warranted. Working from home with teenagers is far different than working around an infant, toddler – or both! Small children don’t always appreciate how hard you are trying to get your work done – after all – the world revolves around them, right? Besides the noise and distraction, is the safety factor – it can be easy to be so engrossed in your work that your child seeks out some entertainment of his own. If you prefer to keep them home and are unable to obtain help, here are a few tips:
• Keep them busy – keep your young child nearby with something he/she loves, but only gets to play with when you are working. Modeling dough, like Playdough, is a great and inexpensive solution to keep your child busy.
• Work while the baby naps – infants sleep often and when awake as long as you are within view and talk to them they usually are content. Of course – I know – as a mother of six children, there are always exceptions!
• Put your child in a child-safe area for video conferences/phone calls – not everyone appreciates the sweet sound of a screaming, impatient child, so some occasions call for playtime in the playroom or bedroom while you are speaking on the phone. Of course, make sure wherever the child is, you can hear him/her and it is safe.
Working from home you miss the commute, the business attire and a lot of the expenses that go with working a regular 9-5, but there always challenges where there are rewards. By implementing these tips and planning ahead for difficulties, you will not only improve your productivity, but your mood as well. Enjoy your remote position!
By Arika Childress
Arika is a mother of six children and works from home for Compliant Coding Systems. She enjoys roller skating, bike riding, and a good night’s sleep.
In case you missed it, CMS has released the long awaited ICD-10-CM to HCC mappings in July. While just over 3500 codes in ICD-9-CM map to an HCC/RxHCC code, almost 10,000 codes will map in ICD-10-CM. Accurate and detailed documentation is going to be more crucial than ever.
With the increased need for specificity and literality required for accurate ICD-10-CM reporting, it is vital that you, as the coder, are up to date on your ICD-10-CM coding guidelines, that as a manager or lead, you educate your staff, and most importantly, that you educate your physicians as soon as possible on any documentation deficiencies.
Just one of many examples where the need for increased specificity plays a role in code selection is when coding Occlusion and Stenosis of the Carotid Artery. In ICD-9-CM, it was not necessary to know left or right carotid artery to accurately code the condition. There is only one code to choose from regardless of left or right with a second code to indicate bilateral. In ICD-10-CM, there are codes for left carotid artery stenosis, right carotid artery stenosis, and one code that now indicates bilateral carotid artery stenosis without having to append a second code for laterality.
Be prepared. Read your ICD-10-CM guidelines carefully for any changes. (Ex: Acute Myocardial Infarction duration is 4 weeks in ICD-10-CM vs 8 weeks in ICD-9-CM)
It is up to you to make sure the documentation meets the required detail necessary.
After many sleepless nights of development ,our Risk Adjustment & HCC Coding Online Boot Camp received AAPC’s approval of 12.5 CEUs yesterday. This was an extremely joyful moment for our Subject Matter Expert Team. Besides a great sense of relief and our efforts being recognized, we are confident the structure and content of the boot camp were informative, practical, and most importantly, it is going to help thousands of coders to explore a new specialty and to step up from an HCC coder to a Risk Adjustment Expert.
During the development process, we received a lot of suggestions and feedback from our followers. Compliant Coding Systems sincerely thank you for your continuous support.
After a glass of champagne, we are working diligently on a few other online courses for coders and coders-to-be. Our goal is to walk alongside you and open the door to a successful and rewarding career together.
The 2-Day Risk Adjustment & HCC Coding Online Boot Camp is scheduled on Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1, 2015 from 9 am to 5 pm EST. We hope to see you there!
I was reading a forum for coders today. A coder was seeking an answer to a coding scenario. They posted the clinical scenario. They posted how they coded it, And, they posted how they were instructed to code it. The coder had it right. The superior that directed the coder did not. This was the same day that I was reviewing some assessments where coders got some rather basic coding questions dead wrong. Something I see all to frequently “Professional Coders” making elementary errors. Could it be that they have been conditioned this way? I know that in my career, I have had those in a role superior to me give me completely wrong direction. The thing with me is….I will fight. I will not do something “just because”. So, if you are “that coder”….don’t just accept something you know to be wrong. If you are “that manager”, let your sense of responsibility supersede your authority high and make it your mission to be right, not powerful.
The process of Medicare Risk Adjustment from patient encounter through payment to healthplan is ripe with opportunity every step of the way. From the documentation recorded by medical providers that often could use some clarity or specificity to coders who are already in high demand with this skill set and ICD-10 will only increase that demand. Healthplans are the beneficiary of these opportunities as it is they who hope to optimize and maximize the premium revenue they are entitled to to cover one of the largest and sickest populations in the industry.To that end, providers need to take a good look at the documentation process and take advantage of training on common deficiencies in provider documentation. Coders should be ramping up and adding HCC Coding to their skill set. HCC Coding offers better than average pay, is often available as remote work, and thus often provides flexibility as for as work schedules are concerned. Compliant Coding Systems has extensive expertise in provider education and documentation improvement as well as Coder Training in the HCC Coding Specialty. Talk to us. We can help.
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a new webcast with information on ICD-10 training and preparation from the “Road to 10” tool. Accessible through the “Road to 10” link on the CMS website, the webcast discusses key elements to include in your training plan. This is the second webcast in the new “Road to 10” series. Four more webcasts will follow—all aimed at helping small physician practices get ready for ICD-10 by the October 1, 2015, compliance date.
Go to the CMS ICD-10 website to get started on the “Road to 10” today.
Keep Up to Date on ICD-10
Visit the CMS ICD-10 website for the latest news and resources to help you prepare.
www.compliantcodingsystems.com is about to launch! Our team has been preparing this site for months. We want to go live as soon as possible so we are savoring every second to put in more thoughts and ideas,with the goal of making this perfect for YOU! Thank you so much for your patience and stay tune for our updates!