Diagnosis Coding and the Importance of Accuracy
Running header: Diagnosis Coding And The Importance Of Accuracy 1
DiagnosisCoding and the Importanceof Accuracy
DiagnosisCoding And The ImportanceAf Accuracy
Accuratecoding of patient details and information during diagnosis is acritical aspect of quality care provided by the practitioner. Codedinformation is used by the patient in current and future medicalassessments and thus any error in coding can have fatal consequencesto the patient and legal claims towards the practitioner who made themistakes in coding. Ghazal, Saleem, & Amlani (2014) suggest thattreatment of the patient is based on prior information that has beencollected and an analysis of previous health patterns and treatmentsthe patient received and thus the health practitioner has to ensurethat the information is accurate. There are several coding errorsthat are common in healthcare settings like selection of wrongprocedure code, failure to link diagnosis codes, using nurse visit inplace of another, unbundling, wrong interpretation of operativereports, IncorrectlyMatchingthe Diagnosis with the Procedureandfailure to update records based on changes in the field.
Kusserow(2014) suggests that strategies can be used to prevent coding errorsin healthcare set up. The first step is ensuring that thepractitioner understands all the procedures necessary when usingcodes. The code user needs to ensure that they understand theinstructions in the manual that are specified by the provider to beable to apply the codes correctly. The user needs to ensure that theprocedure and diagnosis codes being used are based on updated copies.For example, the AmericanMedical Association (AMA) updates its codebook annually throughmaking changes, revising, editing or deleting code guidelines.Practitioners also need to avoid using truncated codes for easyinterpretation of operative reports. Lastly distinguishing patientdetails rather than using cases from one patient to diagnose theother will ensure that each patient case is treated uniquely. Throughlinking diagnosis to correct procedure code in the case of patientwith multiple symptoms ensures that highest specificity is achieved[ CITATION Hug15 l 1033 ].
Inconclusion, the best way to avoid coding errors is accuracy whenusing them. This is through ensuring that practitioners develop highaccuracy levels in utilizing healthcare codes provided. Throughkeeping themselves updated with changes in codes and proper training,Errors in healthcare settings can be reduced which will benefit thepractitioner, the patient and the organization at large.
Ghazal, L., Saleem, Z., & Amlani, G. (2014). A Medical Error: To Disclose or Not to Disclose. Journal of Clinical Research and Bioethics, 5(2).
Hughes, C. (2015, July 31). Four Ways to Avoid Coding Errors and Reduce Claim Denials. Retrieved from MediGain Practice Management: http://www.medigain.com/blog/four-ways-to-avoid-coding-errors-and-reduce-claim-denials
Kusserow, R. P. (2014). Claims Processing Ongoing Monitoring and Auditing: Improves Revenue and Prevents Costly Errors. Journal of Health Care Compliance , 45-48.
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