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.

  • Here’s why you might need a Z code for patients with a falling history.
    When a patient presents to the physician after falling, you’ll need to consider several concepts in order to code correctly. A lot of the ICD-10 coding decisions will hinge on the patient’s falling history, and how well you know the new diagnosis codes. Check out this   Read more..
    Posted on 27 Jan, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    Make All the Right Moves by Following These Fall Coding Rules
  • CDC makes decision on temporary rule.
    Even though overall results for ICD-10 coding implementation have been positive, some practices have hit a few bumps along the way. Many of those bumps have involved the “Excludes1” notations in your diagnosis coding manual. Help’s here: Fortunately, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has addressed   Read more..
    Posted on 25 Jan, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    Confused About Multiple Dx Coding? Check Out This ‘Excludes’ Guideline Update
  • With these services correct coding is all about the wound type.
    When the physician performs multiple skin debridements for the same patient, you’ll need to know what separates a “surface” debridement from a deeper one, as it is the most important factor when coding these services. The basics: Most physician practices will perform two types of debridement   Read more..
    Posted on 21 Jan, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    Ignore Anatomy in Favor of Depth on Multiple Debridements
  • Pay attention to this coding hotspot quintet to minimize audit chances.
    Most medical practices live in fear of the audit. Even with the most robust policies in place, there’s always that feeling that the practice could be doing more in case a payer wants to check your books. Luckily, you can count on advice from experts like   Read more..
    Posted on 19 Jan, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    Keep Practice out of Auditor Targets by Knowing These Triggers
  • Remember: Include healthy tissue provider excises in final tally.
    When faced with a lesion excision claim, you’ll need to follow a couple of specific guidelines to carve out all your deserved reimbursement. The basics: Obtain the proper excision measurements — and properly ID the pathology of the lesion — and you’ll be on your way   Read more..
    Posted on 15 Jan, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    Want to Max Out Lesion Coding Returns? Measure Specimens Pre-Path
  • Experts recommend making exceptions for emergencies.
    How to deal with no-show patients. It’s a frequent problem for many medical practices, and no-show best practices are a matter of constant debate. Dilemma: On one hand, you want be fair to the patient. Practices have to be firm with patients as well, however, or   Read more..
    Posted on 13 Jan, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    Q&A: Set Firm, But Flexible, Policies for No-Shows
  • You must have evidence of three tests to choose full panel code.
    If encounter notes indicate that your provider performs a “lipid panel test,” be sure you don’t just mark down 80061 and go on about your day. Reason: In order to code correctly, you’ll need to know how many tests the provider performed. A full lipid panel   Read more..
    Posted on 11 Jan, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    Check for Full Lipid Panels before Choosing 80061
  • Reduced services claims often require more than just encounter notes.
    It’s a denial that’s all too common; you submit a claim for reduced services with modifier 52 (Reduced services) appended, and all is well. Correct? Well …: The claim might pass muster with the payer; to solidify your claims against denials, however, you should always include   Read more..
    Posted on 8 Jan, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    Coding for Reduced Services? Make Sure Your Documentation Is In Order
  • Just FYI: IRS can help you out of hot water.
    If your practice is worried about the possibility of having its Medicare and other insurance identities stolen, you can rest easier if you save these tips from Medicare experts. Impact: According to Shantanu Agrawal, MD, a medical director with CMS, more than 3,600 physician and patient cases   Read more..
    Posted on 6 Jan, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    Stay Ahead Of ID Thieves with Proper Protection
  • Calendar days pace observation service coding.
    The rules for observation coding are typically pretty straightforward. Pick 99218-99220 for the first day when the patient is in observation for multiple days; pick 99234-9236 if the observation lasts more than eight hours on a single day. Monkey wrench: Are you prepared, however, for an   Read more..
    Posted on 4 Jan, 2016
    By Chris Boucher
    When Clock Strikes Midnight, Switch Up Observation Coding