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Documentation is more important than ever before

Anyone who enters anything into a patient encounter must make sure the documentation is detailed, accurate and thorough. Now more than ever before "if you didn't document it, it's the same as if you didn't do it." Below are three examples that demonstrate why documentation is more important than ever before.

Physician Documentation

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) physicians should maintain accurate and complete medical records and documentation of the services they provide. In addition to ensuring patients receive appropriate care, good documentation practices helps address challenges raised against the integrity of bills, – especially Medicare and Medicaid billing.

ICD10

ICD-10-CM uses three to seven alpha numeric digits and full code titles. The changes in ICD-10-CM are in its organization and structure, code composition, and level of detail. For ICD-10-CM, good documentation practices are critical. Your documentation must be very specific about the details of procedures that are performed.  With ICD-9, there were some "catch-all" codes; ICD-10 does not have these "catch-all" codes.  To ensure proper reimbursement, your documentation must be specific and document in detail services that were provided to support ICD-10-CM codes.

MIPS

Your documentation may be in either paper or electronic format – however, it is important to have it stored in one convenient location so that it is retrievable and reviewable upon request. In the past, for Meaningful Use purposes documentation was essential in the event of an audit, and we expect the same will be true for the Merit Based Incentive Program System (MIPS).  For example, maintain documentation showing when a Security Risk Analysis (SRA) was performed, and documentation showing how an Improvement Activity contributed to better care coordination, beneficiary engagement or patient safety.

Conclusion

As we mentioned in the opening paragraph "if you didn't document it, it's the same as if you didn't do it." For providers and healthcare organizations good documentation practices are more important than ever before – especially for coding and MIPS purposes.

If you have any questions about our Coding or MIPS services, please feel free to send us an email: [email protected].com or reach us by phone: 8554270427.

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