Tuesday, April 10, 2012

AAPC 2012 Las Vegas Convention Highlights! & the ICD-10 proposed 1 year delay

Here's the scoop....Just a quick note to give you the highlights from the AAPC LasVegas Convention.  The convention was sold-out, and we had aprox. 2500 attendees!!!  WOW!!!  

The big topic at this year’s convention is Medical Necessity and thorough Documentation of Records. Another big issue has been the implementation of EHR/EMR (electronic health records/electronic medical records and the implications for coding compliance)  The best value of all from the conference is the networking and education you receive simply from interacting with coders of all types, specialties and regions throughout the USA.  I was so honored to attend, but also, to present two separate educational forums, AND get to attend classes myself to keep my educational & learning processes flowing!

  • Medical Necessity:  Just a few weeks ago I posted an article on medical necessity.  This is something that all the insurance payers are looking at.  Unfortunately, it seems that medical necessity is being tied very closely to reimbursement by the payers.  So, this in-turn requires the physicians and providers of medical care to document much more clearly, concisely, and completely.

  • Electronic Records: The EHR/EMR issue is also being scrutinized by many payers and independent auditors. They are looking very closely at records that could be construed as a cloned record, and pulled-forward or cut/paste record, or even records that have data that the physician can simply ‘click a box and add documentation to up-code, or substantiate a service.  In respect to these types of services, careful evaluation prior to a software EMR/EHR purchase is vital.

  • Coding Ethics:  Coding, billing and documentation ethics was also a hot topic at convention this year.  As a coder that is credentialed by the AAPC and AHIMA, it is imperative that we continue to conduct ethical coding, auditing, and billing functions.  This truly means that we, as coders,  are charged with ensuring that the codes billed embody what was truly performed within the medical visit or procedure.

  • AAPC Coding presentations: I had the amazing opportunity to present two separate sessions this year at the conference.   Both session that I presented (OB ultrasounds and the daVinci robotics)  were well attended.  I had over 200 people in each session….  I love doing this type of thing, as you really get the opportunity to meet with the attendee’s up close and personal.  The other benefit is getting to see those “light-bulb” moments when the coder really understands a new topic! 

Again, for all of my blog readers – I am available to help you and share the knowledge.  I should have a new post out soon on coding ethics, documentation and coding dilemmas within the next few weeks.  I’ll also be deep in developing CPT and ICD-9/ICD-10 curriculum for beginners, and working on my next webinar presentation for Codingcert.com.  I will be presenting on the topic of  ancillary services in OB/GYN (May 2012) I am also working with some terrific people at obgynhospitalist.com and developing a good coding resource location for our OB/GYN hospitalists. 

  • ICD-10 delay:  As of 04/10/2012 CMS has proposed a 1 year delay on the implementation of ICD-10.  Below  are 2 links to review what is going on with this.  However, as Coders, we still need to keep forging forward, and learning all we can.  We want to be well prepared and ‘ready to go’ as soon as the implementation arrives.  I am disappointed that the payers have lobbied to have this delay implemented.  But… It is what it is……. 

HHS Press Release

CMS Fact Sheet

In conclusion – keep learning, keep growing, and keep sharing the coding knowledge.  If you don’t have an immediate coding solution or answer, you have the skills to know who to ask, or how to find out!!!    Happy Coding <3

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