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Coding Tips gives hospitalist physicians the practical tips they need to thoroughly document their services and maximize their reimbursements.


Chairs and whiteboards
Promising solutions for flagging communication scores
Published in the April 2014 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Split visits, transfers and consults
Plus, billing for SNF visits and ICD-10 codes
Published in the March 2014 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Doctor-patient communication for (physician) dummies
Strategies to improve your HCAHPS performance
Published in the February 2014 issue of Today's Hospitalist

HPI: a new documentation option
Plus, documenting a complete review of systems
Published in the January 2014 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Midnight blue
How the new two-midnight rule is playing out
Published in the December 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Medicare's two-midnight rule
New guidance on admissions may have caused even more confusion
Published in the November 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

On the inside looking in
A hospitalist moves into care management
Published in the October 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Billing critical care
What services can you bill in addition to critical care?
Published in the September 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

MD or non-MD? That is the question
Nonphysician providers can give a big boost to hospitalists' bottom line
Published in the August 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How specific does your documentation need to be?
Don't shortchange yourself with sparse documentation
Published in the July 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Template transgressions
Electronic charting may save time, but it can cause compliance headaches
Published in the June 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Some new codes (and respect for) transitional care
Better reimbursement may help prevent some readmissions
Published in the May 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Accountable care 101
What can doctors expect from ACOs?
Published in the April 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Confused about observation billing?
Plus, how to bill (or not) for prolonged services
Published in the March 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Medicare's new sticks and carrots
Will CMS interventions help patients and hospitals?
Published in the February 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to bill for critical care and dual services
Plus, coding and billing for short-stay admissions
Published in the January 2013 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Disappearing dollars?
Hospital medicine and the health care crisis
Published in the December 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Common documentation errors
Documenting history tends to be the trickiest
Published in the November 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Life goes on
Coding Armageddon has been pushed back a year
Published in the October 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Billing observation services? Not so fast
Factors to consider to bill appropriately
Published in the September 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Is time really on your side?
Documentation is the key to billing for time
Published in the August 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Consult codes: (mostly) gone, but still a problem
Plus, how to bill discharges and ED services
Published in the July 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Decision-making: medicine's shades of grey
Risk and decision-making are the name of the game
Published in the June 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Transferring a patient? Here's how to bill
Billing transfers comes with rules and caveats
Published in the May 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Are medical students and residents cheap labor?
Maybe not, once you factor in supervision
Published in the April 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Switching from observation to admission
Tips on how to bill changes in patient status
Published in the March 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Initial observation care? Time is on your side
This year's big change in observation billing
Published in the February 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Coding Challenge: Femoral Neck Fracture
Read the entire case and answer "How should these hospitalists bill for their services?"
Published in the CC 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

This year's ICD-9 update
A look at code changes that hospitalists need to know
Published in the January 2012 issue of Today's Hospitalist

It’s the end of the world as we know it
Get ready for the ICD-10 revolution
Published in the December 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to bill for subsequent observation care
New codes reflect the real world of observation services
Published in the November 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Brave new world
New technologies collide with old reimbursement models
Published in the October 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Beware of leading queries
Some documentation efforts could lead to fraud
Published in the September 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Billing discharge services
Common mistakes include billing for the wrong care setting
Published in the August 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Checklists: the good, the bad and the in-between
The benefits and pitfalls of templates
Published in the July 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

The finer points of billing observation
Plus, how to code discharge services
Published in the June 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

The new math
What more can hospitalists bring to the value equation?
Published in the May 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Making the case for a higher-level admission
What you need to do to avoid losing money
Published in the April 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Getting back to basics
Coding tips to justify and document hospital admissions
Published in the March 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

What's included in critical care codes?
Plus, billing for discharge services
Published in the February 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

More than one doctor? It gets complicated
How to untangle billable services for multiple physicians
Published in the January 2011 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to steer clear of the RAC
Dictate everything to avoid an audit
Published in the December 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Billing for prolonged services
Plus, critical care coding
Published in the November 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to bill for consults and admissions
Plus, making sense of status changes between admission and observation
Published in the October 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Coding for consults and readmissions
Plus, when to use the -25 modifier
Published in the September 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Still scribbling? Watch your payments shrivel
Despite all the jokes, there's nothing funny about nonpayment
Published in the August 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Making sure your patients stay admitted
How to make your case for inpatient vs. outpatient status
Published in the July 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How should you bill an AMA discharge?
Plus, coding questions on comanagement, consults and transfers
Published in the June 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Translating a diagnosis into RVUs
To turn data into dollars, think like the CMS—not textbook authors—when billing
Published in the May 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

The finer points of billing for observation
The change in Medicare consult codes makes a complicated area even trickier
Published in the April 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Uncompleted procedures? Here’s how to bill
Answers to far-ranging coding questions from readers
Published in the March 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Confused when billing concurrent care?
When using consultants, spell out your expectations
Published in the February 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

The new year's big news in coding: ICD-9 codes for gout, embolism, thrombosis, and emotional state
Here are the ICD-9 changes that hospitalists need to know
Published in the January 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Avoiding some big holes in reimbursement
A rule change means that hospitalists have to work smarter when billing
Published in the December 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to bill for critical care services
Physicians need to know what counts—and what doesn’t—toward total time billed
Published in the November 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Commas, adjectives and an occasional noun
In one hospitalist’s opinion, all diagnoses should be qualified
Published in the October 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Answers to (complicated) questions on observation
Plus, what time counts toward billing a higher-level discharge code
Published in the September 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Breaking the downcoding habit
Playing it too safe raises your odds of being audited—and underpaid
Published in the August 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Can’t tell a consult from comanagement?
Answers to your questions about how to bill for a consultation
Published in the July 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Transfers, procedures, discharge: How do you bill?
Answers to your questions on a wide range of hospitalist services
Published in the June 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

The ins and outs of prolonged service ICD-9 codes - timing and documentation
To bill these codes properly, be sure to watch the clock
Published in the May 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Who bills for what in comanagement?
Getting past the confusion over how to split physician billing
Published in the April 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Do you make these common charge mistakes?
How you fill out a billing sheet has a lot to do with how much you’re paid
Published in the March 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Find yourself in the middle of multiple doctors?
Here’s how to code for more than one provider and level of care
Published in the February 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

What’s bundled and what’s not?
Answers to questions on what you can bill separately
Published in the January 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Confused by all the company you keep?
How to bill when several doctors treat the same patient
Published in the December 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Hospitalists need to know new ICD-9 codes for neoplasms, diabetes, headaches, fractures, MRSA, and fever
Is your practice up to speed on changes that have taken effect?
Published in the November 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to avoid common coding misconceptions
Here are “coding legends” that can cut your reimbursement
Published in the October 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to code for present on admission
The stakes for not documenting POA are about to get much higher
Published in the September 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

The rules that govern critical care codes
Choose codes based on patients’ age and the amount of time you spend
Published in the August 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Is your documentation up to par?
Tips to help you support the level of service you choose
Published in the July 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

The right and wrong ways to bill subsequent visits
Plus how to add addendums, code observations and more
Published in the June 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Can’t tell a consult from a referral? Read on
Comanagement arrangements create confusion in billing and coding
Published in the May 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

The right way to bill consults
The trick to correct billing and documentation is knowing the three “r‘s”
Published in the April 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Charting 101: making sure your documentation is on time and legible
Basic rules help you avoid charting pitfalls
Published in the March 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Answers to your questions on observation and discharge codes
How should you bill when more than one physician supplies services?
Published in the February 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

The CPT code changes that hospitalists need to know
Here are new and revised 2008 CPT codes that take effect now
Published in the January 2008 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to maximize reimbursement when documenting a patient history
Overlook just one or two details, and your reimbursement will suffer
Published in the December 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Answers to your questions about observation and consult codes
Confusion often reigns in the wake of contradictory billing advice
Published in the November 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

The ins and outs of billing for procedures
Fail to link a procedure code to a diagnostic one, and you may be setting yourself up for an audit
Published in the October 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

New and revised ICD-9 codes that will affect hospitalists
Next month marks the deadline for adopting updated diagnosis codes
Published in the September 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to get paid what you deserve for observation services
Strict documentation criteria leave little room for error
Published in the August 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How should you bill for critical care services?
Keep track of your “critical care clock” when providing different levels of care
Published in the July 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Which codes do you use when observation spans several days?
Plus answers to your questions on discharge billing and modifiers
Published in the June 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Answers to your questions about discharge services and add-on codes
When it comes to documentation, don't even think of using a rubber stamp
Published in the May 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Spending more time with non-critical patients? Here's how to bill
Prolonged services codes let you document time spent beyond typical E/M services
Published in the April 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Choosing the right level of complexity in medical decision-making
When deciding which code to use, you need to look beyond patient risk
Published in the March 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Supervising residents? Here's what you need to do to get paid
In academic settings, coding and documentation requirements become much more complicated
Published in the February 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

What you need to know to document an initial hospital visit
Skimping on documentation can sabotage how much you get paid for a comprehensive history and exam
Published in the January 2007 issue of Today's Hospitalist

A look at three different ways to report your discharge services

Published in the December 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Questions and answers about coding for subsequent visits and discharge management

Published in the November 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

A look at new and revised ICD-9 codes that will affect hospitalists
The newly updated diagnosis codes need to be implemented right now
Published in the October 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Seven mistakes to avoid when billing for subsequent visits

Published in the September 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

The truth behind some common myths about how to use critical care codes
Because those codes are slightly different from E/M codes, there’s confusion about how to use them
Published in the August 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

You’ve spent 20 minutes counseling the patient. Can you bill for the time?
A review of the elements you need to bill for face-to-face time spent talking to patients
Published in the July 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Are you covering all bases when choosing a level of history?

Published in the June 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

How to get the credit you deserve for medical decision-making

Published in the April 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

New CPT codes for 2006, and shortcuts to document a review of systems

Published in the February 2006 issue of Today's Hospitalist

New and revised ICD-9 codes hospitalists need to know
If you haven’t heard about these changes, which took place in October, you’re already a step behind
Published in the December 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

More questions—and answers— about observation and inpatient consultation codes

Published in the October 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Answers to questions about timing for discharge and observation codes

Published in the August 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Tips to choose the right codes for incision and drainage
The right way to document abscesses, cysts, hematomas and complex wounds
Published in the May 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Tips to calculate the time you spend on discharge services codes
Unlike most codes, CPT 99238 and 99239 require you to watch the clock
Published in the April 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

New ICD-9 and CPT codes that every hospitalist needs to know
A slew of new codes affects how you bill for conscious sedation, decubitus ulcers, diabetes mellitus and cerebral problems
Published in the March 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

The lumbar puncture was incomplete. How do you code for it?
Tips to code for procedures that are interrupted or don’t produce the intended results
Published in the February 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Procedures part 2: coding for respiratory services
While some say that the codes for thoracentesis and tube thoracostomy are interchangeable, there are critical differences
Published in the January 2005 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Inserting a central line? Tips to go beyond E/M services codes
There are 27 new codes to bill for inserting a central line. Here are some tips to make the most of them
Published in the December 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Spending extra time with patients? Try prolonged services codes
These often overlooked codes can help you cover the time, you spend with patients who require extra effort
Published in the November 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

The three “R’s” of consultation codes: request, render and reply
Consult codes tend to focus on advice and opinion and less on action and treatment
Published in the October 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Tips to avoid trouble with subsequent hospital visit codes
If you overuse level 3 codes to describe hospitalized patients, you may attract the attention of federal auditors
Published in the September 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Tackling four common myths about critical care service codes

Published in the August 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Is it pulmonary edema or pleural effusion? Tips to avoid confusing medical acronyms

Published in the June 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Tips to include your time when selecting a level of service
You can include not only time you’ve spent counseling patients, but time you’ve spent working with family members
Published in the May 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

When it comes to choosing diagnosis codes, don’t forget to give details about location

Published in the April 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

Choosing ICD–9 codes for three common inpatient conditions

Published in the March 2004 issue of Today's Hospitalist

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