Sunday, January 9, 2011

More good news - COBGC, AAPC National Conference and the 2011 code changes - keep up we're moving quickly....

COBGC? I have new letters after my name!
Whew!!!After stressing over whether or not I would pass the AAPC specialty exam for OB/GYN I have officially received the good news. I passed the test, and can now add another credential to my name. However, passing the test just reaffirms my drive to keep pursuing excellence in the coding realm. The test was very challenging, and it really made me “step out of the box” to view surgery and different scenario’s for the OB/GYN setting. Now, I just have to figure out what my next 'educational' goal will be.....
More good news… I was picked up by the AAPC to present at the National Convention in Long Beach, CA this year in April. I will be bringing my presentation on robotic assists in the operating room highlighting the daVinici device, and how it is used in a multitude of surgical applications and surgical specialties. I'll be presenting on the last day of the conference. We will have a lot of good presenters, and educational information for coders. If you can attend, it's a good time and lots of good info to go around.
But…back to the "big stuff" ... Since this is the beginning of 2011, be sure to crack open your new CPT & HCPCS books, and really take a look at all the changes within. There are a lot of changes to be had in the 2011 books. In my last post, I discussed the changes to debridement codes. , below, I've touched on the new subsequent daily codes for observation services in the hospital.
Evaluation and Management
New CPT codes for Observation Subsequent Care codes. These codes are used for all subsequent days following an admission to Observation status prior to discharge
99224- Subsequent observation care- per day- requires 2 out of 3 components
-problem focused history
-problem focused exam
-Medical decision making straightforward or low complexity
99225- Subsequent observation care- per day- requires 2 out of 3 components
- expanded problem focused history
- expanded problem focused exam
- Medical decision making moderate complexity
99226- Subsequent observation care- per day- requires 2 out of 3 components
- detailed history
- detailed exam
- Medical decision making high complexity
The other hot-button changes you will want to be looking at is the Medicare changes for the “welcome to Medicare” physical (wellness benefits) and the new annual wellness visit. Be sure to review the codes in your HCPCS book for specific documentation requirements that are pertinent for Medicare.
G0438- Annual wellness visit (AWV) First AWF (billable 1 year after Welcome to Medicare exam if performed on first year of Medicare)
G0439- Annual wellness visit (AWV) Subsequent years AWF
Then last, but not least -- keep an eye on the “consultation” codes for your private payers. Even though the Government payers such as Medicare/Medicaid/Tricare no longer recognize them or pay for consultation codes, does not mean consultation codes are not valid or cannot be used for private payers.
If you are receiving denials for usage of the consultation codes, you will want to appeal. Be sure to verify if you have a contract with that payer stating they no longer recognize those codes.
till next time.... Happy coding…