A recent article from Cutting Edge, the industry publication published by AAPC, discussed coders’ responsibility to communicate with physicians in order to improve documentation since proper documentation is the key to helping coders select the appropriate code(s).
In Healthy Documentation Starts with You, Terri Brame clarified that coders’ role is “to coach the physician in properly documenting his or her services so that you may accurately code them.” Often a simple conversation between provider and coder is all that is needed to minimize risk and maximize reimbursement—which makes the coder’s job a lot easier!
In my experience, developing and maintaining a rapport with my healthcare providers has made all the difference in obtaining the information and supporting documentation I need to assign the correct codes. I thoroughly enjoyed Terri’s article, and she has some great points on how to develop a great relationship with your physicians.
With ICD-10 being implemented in October 2014, improved documentation is becoming more and more important. It will be critical to have open communication lines between coders and physicians in order to obtain the information needed to assign the correct codes.
What do you think? What was your favorite point from Terri’s article?