Improve Your Tennis Elbow Claims Score: Make Reach, Repair, and Reattachment Your Winning Strategy

Posted on 17. Jun, 2011 by in Hot Coding Topics, Provider News.

0

Tactics help you recoup deserved pay for 24357-24359.
Tennis elbow claims faults can wreak havoc on your reimbursement for these services.  But you can clean up your method if you can spot in the note how the surgeon reached the elbow tendon and whether the tendon was released or repaired.  By doing so, you stand to gain your full earned pay for codes 24357, 24358, and 24359, which is $437.27, $514.74, and $647.59, respectively.
 

Review Structures Treated
When you are confident in your elbow anatomy knowledge, you’ll have a better chance of understanding where the operative note is directing you.   The codes are simple and can easily be applied if you are reading correctly. “Coding these procedures became much easier when CPT condensed the codes from the previous five down to the current three,” confirms Heidi Stout, BA, CPC, COSC, PCS, CCS-P, Coder on Call, Inc., Milltown, New…

Full Article & Comments

Correctly Code Crush Injury of Hand

Posted on 17. Jun, 2011 by in Coding Challenge, Hot Coding Topics.

0

Question:
We have a patient who had a severe crush injury of the left hand which led to a comminuted fracture of the left 3rd and 5th metacarpals with an intra-articular fracture of the proximal phalanx of the left index finger.  The physician’s documentation indicates the following:

  • There was also a soft tissue defect over the left proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint of the middle finger.  After taking samples for culture, the wounds were meticulously débrided and curetted.
  • Bony structures were evident over the 3rd metacarpal as well as on the PIP of the middle finger where the defect was about 3-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches. The area of the dorsum of the PIP joint of the left middle finger was about ¾ inch x ¾ inch.
  • Debridement and irrigation was done using 6 liters of saline with the gravity Patzakis technique and 1 liter of antibiotic.
  • After the wound was

Full Article & Comments

64704 Denials? 5 ways to Fix Your Neuroplasty Claims

Posted on 08. Jun, 2011 by in Hot Coding Topics.

0

If you’re just plodding though nerve surgery claims, you could be stepping over a great deal of well-earned reimbursement.  Coding and billing peripheral nerve surgeries for conditions such as tarsal tunnel and diabetic neuropathy can involve a frazzling number of codes.   Podiatry coders often struggle to navigate the various coding guidelines that payers use for these procedures.  Use these five tips to maximize payment for your podiatrist’s hard work on nerve surgeries:

Tip 1: Check CCI edits and your local Medicare guidelines

If you’re billing codes that the Correct Coding Initiative bundles together — and your documentation and diagnosis codes can’t justify breaking the bundle — you’re not going to see one extra cent for that bundled procedure code.

Example: A California Medicare patient injures his foot when he falls off a ladder and requires peripheral nerve surgery to correct the damage the injury…

Full Article & Comments

Follow 4 Simple Tips for Modifier 62 to Get your Game Plan in place for both Codes and Documentation

Posted on 08. Jun, 2011 by in Hot Coding Topics, Provider News.

0

When two surgeons work together to perform one procedure, each physician’s individual documentation requirements can get jumbled up. Make sure your physician isn’t passing the documentation buck and that he or she knows to follow these four tips when you submit claims with modifier 62.

Tip 1: Each physician should identify the other as a co-surgeon.  Also make sure that the other physician is billing with modifier 62. A lot of confusion can arise when physicians from different practices are reporting the same procedure.

You may find yourself in a situation where one physician may report the other physician’s work as that of an assistant surgeon, in which case the claims would not correspond. This means a denial will hit your desk. One surgeon cannot simply indicate the other as the co-surgeon.  Both physicians must submit claims for the same procedure, both with modifier 62. To accomplish this all you…

Full Article & Comments

4 Amazing Ways to Code for ‘Get Acquainted’ Visits

Posted on 08. Jun, 2011 by in Hot Coding Topics, Provider News.

0

Do you ever meet with parents before their baby is even born?  In these cases, you might be hesitant to charge for the visits because the patient isn’t present yet—but can you collect anything for the physician’s time?  Check out the following 4 options, along with our expert advice before billing to insurance.

1. Consider an Office Visit

Some practices think of meet-and-greets, in which they tell the parents about the way they run their practice, more as an office visit, such as 99201.  However, this would need to be billed based on time to the mother’s insurance company and would likely be questioned by the insurance company.  For practices that do charge for these services, there’s a diagnosis code you can use: V65.11. ICD-9 guidelines allow you to list the code as a first or additional diagnosis.

2. Ensure You Meet Criteria Before Using 99401-99404

As an alternative to…

Full Article & Comments

3 FAQs Banish Your Coding Frustrations on Vaginal Cuff Repair

Posted on 08. Jun, 2011 by in Hot Coding Topics.

0

Find out what colporrhaphy code you’ll use for an injury repair.

If you’re stuck trying to figure out what code to use for a vaginal cuff repair, you should ask yourself one main question: Why did the ob-gyn need to perform the repair?  The answer is the best way to decide what code (and possibly modifiers) to choose.  Follow these three expert steps, and you’ll find the solution to one of the most frequently asked questions in an ob-gyn office: “Which CPT® code should I use for repair of vaginal cuff?”

Q1: How Do I Decide What Repair Code to Use?

The first thing you should do when the ob-gyn performs a vaginal cuff repair is examine the operative report to determine why the patient required the repair, says Cindy Foley, Billing Manager for three separate gynecology practices in Syracuse, N.Y.

Q2: If Repair Dealt With Loose Sutures, What Should

Full Article & Comments

3 Steps to Keep Discontinued Procedure Claims Moving

Posted on 08. Jun, 2011 by in Hot Coding Topics.

0

You often turn to modifier 53 (discontinued procedure) when your anesthesiologist or the surgeon sees some risk that could threaten the patient’s health if the procedure continues.   However, Payers do recoil when it comes to reimbursing these claims.  Here are three easy steps by the experts to help you to get on the right track for reimbursement.

1) Conquer Electronic Filing Challenges

Gone are the days when you were told to submit paper claims reporting modifier 53 so you can append a written explanation with the claim.  With HIPAA and electronic standards, you can do the billing electronically.  Once you have billed electronically with modifier 53, the payer might request more information.  Thus the note should contain all the information the carrier needs.  For failed procedure, the record should state the reasons for the failure.  If your physician discontinued the procedure due to the patient’s condition, the record should detail…

Full Article & Comments

Are you sure that your coding complies with ICD-9 official guidelines for pain management?

Posted on 08. Jun, 2011 by in Hot Coding Topics.

0

If you don’t know when to check ICD-9 official guidelines, you may have just a 50-50 chance of choosing the proper order for your diagnosis codes.  Patients may present to the office for treatment related to pain caused by a neoplasm.  In such cases, you will need to determine which diagnosis codes to report and you will need to decide what order to list the codes in on your claim.  With that in mind, consider how you should code the scenario below.

Start by Examining the Neoplasm-Related Pain Case

Read the following scenario and determine proper ICD-9 coding based on the information given.  You’ll find a helpful hint on which section of the official guidelines to review if you get stuck.

Scenario: The physician documents that a patient with lung cancer (middle lobe, primary malignant neoplasm) was presented to the office for the purpose of pain management.  The…

Full Article & Comments

Ensure Your Physician’s Signatures Pass Muster By Answering 2 Key Questions

Posted on 08. Jun, 2011 by in Hot Coding Topics, Provider News.

0

EMR signature pitfalls could be a daily challenge with which you often deal. Check your answers against our experts’ advice to verify your group’s signature compliance.

Question 1: Some of our physicians use handwritten signatures on their charts and others prefer electronic signatures. Is either kind acceptable?

Answer 1: According to CMS documents, Medicare requires a legible identifier for services provided or ordered.  The identifier — or signature — can be electronic or handwritten, as long as the provider meets certain criteria. Legible first and last names, a legible first initial with last name, or even an illegible signature over a printed or typed name are acceptable.  You’re also covered if the provider’s signature is illegible but is on a page with other information identifying the signer (letterhead, addressograph, etc.).  Also be sure to include the provider’s credentials.  The credentials themselves can be with the signature or they…

Full Article & Comments

Stop Forfeiting Level Four and Five E/Ms With 3 PFSH Tips

Posted on 08. Jun, 2011 by in Hot Coding Topics, Provider News.

0

Make your physician’s job easier by letting the patient or nurse document the history.

If your physician glosses over a patient’s past, family, and social history (PFSH), you may be missing out on up to $69 per E/M.  Accurately counting the number of PFSH items could result in more money for an encounter, because the top-level E/M codes require PFSH elements in addition to an extended history of present illness, and more than 1 system reviewed. Learn these three quick tips to ensure your physician is capturing, and you’re recognizing, every history component the patient mentions.

1. Determine the Level of PFSH

For coding purposes, the history portion of an E/M service requires all three elements — history of present illness (HPI), review of systems (ROS), and a past, family and social history (PFSH).  Therefore, the PFSH helps determine patient history level, which has a great effect on the…

Full Article & Comments