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Joy Hicks

Joy's Medical Office Blog


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More Coding Help for the Novice Coder

Saturday May 31, 2014
Last time we discussed 5 important features of diagnosis coding.  This week, the topic discusses 5 important features of procedural coding.  In this article, you will learn about CPT and HCPCS codes and what they are used for.  (Read More)

Who Wants to Be a Medical Coder?

Friday May 30, 2014
Medical coding is a major factor in obtaining insurance reimbursement as well as maintaining patient records. Coding claims accurately lets the insurance payer know the illness or injury of the patient and the method of treatment.

If you are interested in a career as a medical coder, read more.

What Does Anatomy Have to Do with Coding?

Friday May 30, 2014
Human anatomy plays a huge role in the process of medical coding. Medical coders must be able to read and interpret the physicians notes in order to accurately report the correct codes for billing medical claims. The information they must read and interpret usually includes medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, surgical procedures, and more.

There are six different levels of anatomy and physiology that is essential to medical coding. (Read More)

Choosing the Correct CPT/HCPCS Codes

Monday May 26, 2014
Choosing the correct CPT (Current Procedural Technology) and HCPCS (Healthcare Common Procedural Coding System) codes involves identifying five important factors. These factors include: (Read More)

Two Coding Mistakes You Must Avoid

Saturday May 24, 2014
Overcoding and undercoding are two coding mistakes that can have damaging results on the medical office. Medical coding is not just about receiving reimbursements for services provided. Coding claims accurately lets the insurance payer know the illness or injury of the patient and the method of treatment.

There are other uses for medical coding: (Read More)

Correct Coding for Medicare

Wednesday May 21, 2014
Medical Coding is a system of number and letter labels distinct to each diagnosis, symptom or symptom set, and cause of death that can be recognized in human beings. Additionally, codes are used for standard communication of supplies and procedures used in the treatment of human conditions as well.

Medicare has unique requirements for the reporting and payment of procedure codes that has been developed by CMS... (Read More)

The 2015 Medicare Shared Savings Program

Saturday May 17, 2014
Any provider interested in applying for participation in the Medicare Shared Savings Program for the January 1, 2015 start date must submit a Notice of Intent to apply by Friday, May 30, 2014, 8pm (eastern time). Eligible providers and suppliers can participate in  the Shared Savings Program by creating or participating in an ACO (Accountable Care Organization).

For the complete details can be found at the Shared Savings Program Application website.

More ICD-10 Coding Basics

Saturday May 17, 2014
Anyone interested in learning more about ICD-10 coding can register for CMS's MLN Connects™ National Provider Call. The call will be held on June 4, 2014 at 1:30 - 3:00 pm (eastern time). Some of the topics covered will include:
  • CMS updates, including the partial code freeze and 2015 code updates
  • Why ICD-9-CM is being replaced with ICD-10-CM
  • Benefits of ICD-10-CM
  • Similarities and differences from ICD-9-CM
  • And more!
Visit MLN Connects™ National Provider Call.

New to Coding? Read more here

CMS Finalizes a Medicare Prospective Payment System for Federally Qualified Health Centers

Wednesday April 30, 2014

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that could increase Medicare payments to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) by as much as 32 percent. The new payment system, as outlined in the Affordable Care Act, establishes a Medicare prospective payment system for FQHCs, which provide access to medical services to patients in or from medically underserved areas.

For more information about the Medicare prospective payment system for FQHCs see: http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2014-Fact-sheets-items/2014-04-29.html.


Wednesday April 30, 2014

Proposed rule would strengthen tie between payment and quality improvement

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would update fiscal year (FY) 2015 Medicare payment policies and rates for inpatient stays at general acute care and long-term care hospitals (LTCHs). This rule builds on the Obama administration's efforts through the Affordable Care Act to promote improvements in hospital care that will lead to better patient outcomes while slowing the long-term health care cost growth.

For more information, go to:

Payments: http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2014-Fact-sheets-items/2014-04-30.html

Quality Fact Sheet: http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2014-Fact-sheets-items/2014-04-30-2.html

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