Providers must conduct monthly ICD-10 audits to ensure accuracy, compliance

Coding reviews and audits for ICD-10 continue to be of importance, especially as new codes continue to be added, Victoria M. Hernandez, an auditor, writes at ICD10 Monitor.

It's important, she notes, for healthcare professionals to remain cognizant of updates both on the compliance side and on the regulatory side, and reviews and audits can help organizations with finding patterns, trends and best practices.

In March, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the early release of thousands of new ICD-10 procedure coding system and clinical modification codes. Both the American Hospital Association and the American Health Information Management Association this week lauded the move.

"In performing audits or assessments on large volumes of records, there are numerous patterns and trends that have surfaced that are worth sharing, based on some observations," Hernandez says.

In her own work, some of the trends Hernandez has seen include missed codes, codes based on insufficient documentation and little or no supporting documentation for coding, among other issues, she says.

While reviews and audits can be performed quarterly or annually, Hernandez says at this early stage in ICD-10, monthly coding audits are the best way to get insight and fix incorrect code assignments.

"Having coding audits conducted on a regular basis to ensure coding accuracy and compliance must be part of every company, practice and organizational strategic plan," she writes. "Our ICD-10 journey has just begun, and we are all learning together."

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