Mastering hierarchical condition categories (HCC) is key to success under new reimbursement methodologies that rely on risk-adjustment, quality, and value metrics such as the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Organizations need to take a close look at their training and audit programs to ensure that valuable information isn’t being left out of documentation—and negatively impacting HCC scores.
The focus of FY 2018 code changes is specificity. Payers now expect codes to reflect the exact diagnosis and care given before claims will be reimbursed. Increased granularity in both clinical documentation and coding is critical for revenue cycle success in the year ahead.
Currently, there are no national guidelines for how facilities should assign evaluation and management (E/M) levels in the emergency department (ED). Under Medicare’s ambulatory payment classification (APC) system, facilities create their own internal guidelines for determining the ED visit level, and each facility must follow its own system to demonstrate compliance.
Physicians may be angry at the increased documentation, coding, and billing workflow and compliance activities they must perform to be successful in new reimbursement models. However, to avoid accustations of fraud and upcoding, they must develop their own OIG-recommended compliance plan and be open to rigorous feedback and advice.