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Emergency Department Coding & Reimbursement Alert

Reader Question:
Which Diagnosis Applies in Observation Care?

Question: Our understanding is that the first-listed diagnosis must be used in lieu of the principal diagnosis when reporting observation. Often, the first listed diagnosis on the discharge summary is not the reason for the admission to observation. Should the reason for admission always be the first listed? If a patient is admitted for syncope, and the provider documents that [...]

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