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Anesthesia Coding Alert

2011 Preparation:
Check These 4 Areas for Small -- But Important -- Claim Changes

Diagnosis, PQRI, and E-prescribing top experts' lists of watchpoints. Approximately 600 coders, physicians, and office managers gathered in Orlando, Fla. for the December 2011 Coding and Reimbursement Update Conference. Experts in 13 different specialties shared their insights in a weekend full of workshops, including anesthesia and pain management. As you move into 2011, keep these four areas in mind to strengthen your claims. Enhance Claims With New Diagnosis Options The 2011 edition of ICD-9 includes several diagnosis changes that could help anesthesia coders submit more accurate claims. Three welcome additions include: 278.03 (Overweight and obesity; obesity hypoventilation syndrome) -- Obesity could be a risk factor for administering anesthesia because the patient might have breathing problems that lead to lower oxygen and higher carbon dioxide levels in the blood. Adding 278.03 to your claim can help justify medical necessity for anesthesia or help justify a higher physical status indicator (P code) for [...]

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