TCN Medical Coding Blog

Tiny Sliver of Doctors Account for Big Chunk of Medicare Costs

Apr 10, 2014
A tiny sliver of doctors and other medical providers, including one physician who billed more than $20 million alone, accounted for an outsize portion of Medicare's 2012 costs. WSJ's Christopher Weaver reports on Lunch Break. Photo: AP.

CMS’ New 2/12 1500 Claim Form: Are You Ready? April 1st Deadline is Here

Mar 31, 2014
Even if you've been filing Medicare claim form 1500 for years, effective April 1, 2014 your process is about to change.

ICD-10 deadline won’t be delayed, Tavenner tells HIMSS

Feb 28, 2014
Providers, payers and claims clearinghouses can look for no relief from the looming, Oct. 1 compliance deadline for the nationwide conversion to the ICD-10 family of diagnostic and procedural codes, the head of the CMS said Thursday. But some case-by-case exemptions will be made for providers having a tough time meeting their Stage 2 meaningful-use targets, she said.

Take a Refresher on Coder Liability

Jan 16, 2014
In addition to acquiring all the necessary tools and education needed to code and bill, you also are responsible to adhere to regulations governing reimbursement. Failure to perform these duties may result in a direct violation of contractual and professional obligation.

Don’t let cloned documentation sink your coding and compliance efforts.

Jan 16, 2014
Although Medicare doesn’t have a national policy on the use of shortcuts (such as templates or copy and paste functions) when physicians and non-physician practitioners document services in an electronic health record (EHR), the subject of “cloned notes” continues to be a hot topic in the compliance arena.

EHRs and E/M Coding: Warnings, Pitfalls, and Best Practices

Jan 16, 2014
In this article by AACP author Michael Stearns, MD, CPC, CFPC, suggests that organizations should take the time to thoroughly understand and customize your EHR.

CMS Allows ’97 Extended HPI with ’95 Guidelines

Oct 06, 2013
Effective Sept. 10, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has revised its Evaluation and Management (E/M) Documentation Guidelines (DG), to allow physicians to use the 1997 DG for an extended history of present illness (HPI) with the other elements of the 1995 DG to document an E/M service

Bunion Surgery Challenges: Eponyms & Techniques Make Medical Coding Easier

Sep 11, 2013
Coding surgical procedures to correct bunion and hallux valgus deformities can be intimidating. With a wide variety of surgical techniques that are referenced using an eponym (proper name), choosing the correct codes can be challenging, even for seasoned orthopaedic coders.

CMS has granted delay - The ICD-10 implementation date is Oct. 1, 2014.

Aug 02, 2013
Recently CMS granted the delay and the implementation date has been pushed out to Oct. 1, 2014. That means it's now time to get your baseline training and assessment programs in place. This PDF from the RBMA highlights the impact to Radiology practices and also provide you with a specific plan to make sure that you use thie time between now and the fast approaching implementation date wisely.
Posted in: ICD-10 Readiness,

Audit Compliance Plan - Ensure Documentation Supports Reimbursement

Jun 07, 2013
As a physician auditor, Melody spends much of her time educating clinicians on proper documentation. This involves explaining and interpreting coding and compliance guidelines. When provid- ing such guidance, the most common reply I hear from providers is, “I want it in writing.” An auditing compliance plan helps to satisfy this need.