Coding News

Don't code prematurely to ensure proper DRGs, hospital payments PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 11:16

Don't code hospital records prematurely, warns Donna Wilson RHIA, CCS, CCDS, senior director at Compliance Concepts, Inc. Wilson's advice follows a recent article from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)'s MedLearn Matters about inpatient DRG coding vulnerabilities.

Succumbing to the pressures of financial deadlines, many hospitals code and finalize claims before the final patient discharge summary is documented, which sometimes contains important test results not included in the initial diagnosis. Therefore, hospitals may open themselves up for errors and denials, according to Wilson.

"Best practice is to wait on the complete medical record since rebilling could result in a higher-weighted DRG that will automatically be reviewed by the QIO (quality improvement organization)," Wilson told an interviewer.

To address the financial deadlines, consider using staff to ensure appropriate coding in a timely way.

"If internal financial policies lessen their bill hold...

AHRQ: Less than half of hospitals have nonpunitive culture, safe handoffs PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 10:48

In its annual patient safety report, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) stressed the areas for hospital improvement are implementing nonpunitive cultures, improving handoffs, and reporting events.

Only 44 of hospital staff said they felt that their organization had a nonpunitive response to errors, that is, mistakes would not be held against them or recorded in a personnel file, according to the "Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture 2011 User Comparative Database Report," which included data from more than a thousand hospitals who administered the survey to staff.

In addition, only 45 percent of respondents said they felt their hospitals could improve transfers across hospital units and during shift changes.

Regarding events, 54 percent on average reported no events at their hospital during the past 12 months. Although the initial numbers appear that more than half of hospitals have no incidents, it's more likely that they simply go unreported, according to A...

JAMA study: Isolated, rural hospitals have poorer quality PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 10:16

Despite efforts tying quality of care to provider reimbursements, a study published in today's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that critical access hospitals (CAHs) in rural areas have fewer clinical capabilities, lower quality of care, and worse patient outcomes compared with other hospitals. Researchers found that patients admitted to CAHs (geographically isolated facilities with no more than 25 acute care beds) for heart attack, congestive heart failure, or pneumonia had a 30 to 70 percent higher risk of dying within 30 days than those at other hospitals. "To improve the quality of care patients receive at CAHs, policy makers could explore partnerships with larger hospitals, increasing use of telemedicine, or inclusion of these hospitals in national quality improvement efforts," said lead author Karen Joynt, a research fellow in Harvard School of Public Health's Department of Health Policy and Management. Read more...

Compuware boosts APM platform with dynaTrace deal PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 09:54

The Compuware Corporation has announced the acquisition of dynaTrace Software, a privately held, Waltham, Mass.-based developer of application performance management software.

read more

E-prescriptions just as error-prone as hand-written PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 08:40

Electronic prescriptions contain about as many errors as handwritten prescriptions, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. The study's conclusion: "Implementing a computerized prescribing system without comprehensive functionality and processes in place to ensure meaningful system use does not decrease medication errors." - read the full story from FierceHealthIT

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ICD-10 Corner

9 benefits of ICD-10

1. Measuring the quality, safety and efficacy of care
2. Designing payment systems and processing claims for reimbursement
3. Conducting research, epidemiological studies, and clinical trials
4. Setting health policy
5. Operational and strategic planning and designing healthcare delivery systems
6. Monitoring resource utilization
7. Improving clinical, financial, and administrative performance
8. Preventing and detecting healthcare fraud and abuse
9. Tracking public concerns and assessing risks of adverse public health events

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