Chris Boucher
Chris Boucher has nearly 10 years of experience writing various newsletters and other products for The Coding Institute. His blog will cover several areas of coding and compliance, including CPT® coding, modifiers, HIPAA compliance and ICD-10 coding.

  • Have you updated your reporting of malignant carcinoid tumors, viral hepatitis, GIST or ovarian cyst coding?
    You haven’t had to deal with annual ICD-10-CM updates until Oct. 1, 2016. Now that the changes are effective, ensure your lab is on top of the latest changes. Take a look at how the first annual update in the ICD-10 Manual affects your pathology/lab coding   Read more..
    Posted on 10 Feb, 2017
    By Chris Boucher
    Key ICD-10 Changes That Impact Pathology/Lab Coding in 2017
  • ICD-10-CM 2017 Simplifies Your Zika Virus Reporting
    To justify Zika testing, report the symptoms At this time of year, you should be feeling at ease with the ICD-10-CM changes that went into effective Oct. 1, 2016. However when emerging infectious diseases, such as the Zika virus surface, selecting the most precise ICD-10   Read more..
    Posted on 2 Jan, 2017
    By Chris Boucher
    ICD-10-CM 2017 Simplifies Your Zika Virus Reporting
  • 2017 CPT® Coding Updates: Make Room for Key Laryngoplasty & Flexible Laryngoscopy Changes
    Remove “fiberoptic” from laryngoscopy codes.  CPT® 2017 packs some important changes general surgery coders don’t want to overlook. Effective Jan. 1, 2017, you’ll have a new specific code — 31573 — to use when your surgeons performs a flexible laryngoscopy with therapeutic injection. The new code   Read more..
    Posted on 20 Dec, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    2017 CPT® Coding Updates: Make Room for Key Laryngoplasty & Flexible Laryngoscopy Changes
  • P modifiers help to ID patient health at time of anesthesia.
    Whenever you are filing a claim that involves anesthesia administration, be sure to include a physical status (“P”) modifier on any anesthesia codes. Reason: The modifiers put a spotlight on the patient’s health at the time of the anesthesia administration. There is always the risk of adverse   Read more..
    Posted on 8 Mar, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    Use P Mods to Put Patent Health Info at Forefront of Claims
  • Self-auditing should occur at least annually, experts say.
    If you want your coding to be bulletproof, your practice should invest in regular self-audits. Why? If you conduct self-audits regularly, you reduce the risk of a payer audit. Self-audit carefully, and you can fix coding problems before they get bigger. “It is easier to fix a   Read more..
    Posted on 16 Feb, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    Make Coders First Line of Self-Audit Defense
  • Pregnant women get different ICD-10s than other Zika patients.
    News headlines have been swirling around the Zika virus for days now, and it looks like the virus could become an epidemic in the Americas, if not properly contained. This will cause concern in the general population, of course, but as a coder you need to   Read more..
    Posted on 10 Feb, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    Follow This Advice when You Dx Zika Virus Patients
  • Remember this modifier when coding for FBR and a separate E/M.
    When a patient reports to the practice for a foreign body removal (FBR), there might be an opportunity to report an FBR code along with a separate evaluation and management (E/M) code. The rub is finding that info in the encounter notes, and knowing when it   Read more..
    Posted on 8 Feb, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    Check for E/M on FBR Encounters
  • Be as accommodating as you can with patients who want to access their info.
    Patients requesting access to their medical records should be a top priority for any practice that wants to stay compliant and trustworthy. The basics: A patient has every legal right to her medical records, and if you don’t provide access ASAP, not only could you run   Read more..
    Posted on 5 Feb, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    Responding to Patient Records Requests? Follow This Expert Advice
  • Catastrophes that occur nearby can affect your coding.
    When a disaster strikes and you have to treat patients affected by the event, be sure you’re coding properly. Explanation: Depending on the extent and circumstances surrounding the disaster, it could affect your coding, and modifier usage, when reporting services for affected patients. To make claims   Read more..
    Posted on 2 Feb, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    If Disaster Hits, You Might Need Modifier CR
  • Here’s why an exam that lacks an ECG isn’t a FAST exam.
    If you’re looking at a claim for a focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) exam, coding quickly gets tricky if you don’t know the basics. The skinny: Physicians — often emergency department (ED) physicians — perform FAST exams to check for internal bleeding. This exam   Read more..
    Posted on 29 Jan, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    When You See FAST Exams, Check for This Code Pair Quickly