coding covid-19

This article offers guidelines on Coding COVID-19 suspected Infection & Symptoms. Symptoms of the Coronavirus, according to the CDC, include cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and loss of taste and smell (2020). The reporting guidelines dictate: In patients with acute bronchitis that has been caused by COVID-19, use codes U07.1 and J20.8. For lower respiratory infection due to COVID-19, assign codes U07.1 and J22.

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inpatient coding

Healthcare organizations, including coders, often struggle with a true return on investment when aiming to cross-train from outpatient to inpatient coding. There are several key differences between inpatient and outpatient coding. Inpatient coding documents a patient’s diagnosis and treatment during hospitalization, while outpatient coding generates a detailed report for diagnoses treated in one visit. Coding for inpatient vs. outpatient also requires different code sets and payment systems.

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how to assign the correct E/M code

The Refresh With YES: CPT E/M Services webinar provides an overview of the definitions and components of CPT Evaluation and Management (E/M) code assignments divided into 8-25-minute modules. Learn how to assign the correct E/M code to claims with this course consisting of four modules: E/M Introduction and Overview, E/M History, E/M Examinations, and E/M Medical Decision Making. This learning path provides 1 CEU certificate after attaining a passing grade (1 AAPC CEU and towards 1 AHIMA CEU).

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telemedicine reimbursement guidelines

CMS released the Medicare telemedicine coding and reimbursement guidelines for healthcare providers to use during the COVID-19 pandemic (CMS, 2020). According to the CMS Medicare Telemedicine Health Care Provider Fact Sheet, reimbursement for these visits are considered the same as in-person visits and are paid at the same rate (CMS, 2020). The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) is providing flexibility for healthcare providers to reduce or waive cost-sharing for telehealth visits paid by federal healthcare programs (CMS, 2020).

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history of covid-19

COVID-19, or “Coronavirus Disease 2019,” is an infectious respiratory disease caused by the newly discovered Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that ranges from mild to no symptoms, to severe symptoms and death (CDC, 2020). As of April 30, there are 3,222,107 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide, with 228,757 deaths and 992,592 recoveries (Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, 2020). Coronaviruses consist of a large family of viruses that commonly occur in humans and different species of animals, such as bats, cattle, cats, and more (CDC, 2020). Animal coronaviruses may infect and spread among humans in rare occurrences, such as the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China (CDC, 2020).

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Due to the stay-at-home orders put in effect by state governors and the highly contagious COVID-19 virus, CMS has expanded coverage for its Medicare recipients through the use of telemedicine (CMS, 2020). According to CMS, “The benefits are part of the broader effort by CMS and the White House Task Force to ensure that all Americans – particularly those at high-risk of complications from the virus that causes the disease COVID-19 – are aware of easy-to-use, accessible benefits that can help keep them healthy while helping to contain the community spread of this virus” (2020).

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The ICD-10-PCS Hot Topics Updated webinar reviews and clarifies some of the most challenging ICD-10-PCS procedure codes and ICD-10-PCS coding issues divided into 10-20-minute modules, including Aneurysms Background and Cerebral Aneurysms, Aortic Aneurysms, Control, Overview and Coding Applications for Vascular Access Devices, and Background and Coding Applications for Tunneled and Totally Implantable VADs. This learning path provides 2 CEU certificates after attaining a passing grade (2 AAPC CEUs and towards 2 AHIMA CEUs).

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Telehealth and Covid-19

CMS clarified on April 10, 2020, that the submission of ICD-10-CM diagnoses codes for Risk Adjustment are permitted from coding telehealth services as long as it meets the set criteria (i.e. inpatient, outpatient, or professional service and from a face-to-face encounter) (CMS, 2020). CMS is stating that telehealth services can meet the face-to-face requirement “when the services are provided using an interactive audio and video telecommunications system that permits real-time interactive communication” (2020). From a medical coding and billing standpoint, the change in the telehealth services criteria for risk adjustment is causing updates to how these services are billed.

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Perhaps the most important upcoming development in the fight against COVID-19 is detecting antibodies to the infection, and new tests for this purpose are being developed. As these are new tests, existing codes do not reflect these antibody studies. To assist, the CPT Editorial Board has fast-tracked the approval of two new CPT codes for the COVID-19 antibody blood testing (AMA, 2020). The new codes were published April 10, 2020, and are effective immediately. Use of the codes will allow for tracking and reporting of antibody tests specifically for COVID-19.

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ProFee Coding Testimonials

In the year 2020, there are not many industries left that haven’t been modernized and streamlined by innovative technology. The healthcare sector itself has seen numerous improvements in recent years, including cutting-edge treatments, less invasive procedures, digital health records, mobile healthcare apps, and more (Medium/Healthcare in America, 2018). Most of these technologies alone have improved the level of care, efficiency, disease control, and access to better treatments (UIC, 2020). How medical coding adapts to new healthcare technology will have a great impact on preventive and corrective healthcare (Healthcare Business & Technology, 2020).

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