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.

  • Some vendors might balk, but it’s the rule.
    Medical practices often have to do business with outside vendors. Many of these outside vendors are bound to follow business associate (BA) guidelines under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). To avoid any confusion or angst during your vendor negotiations, be sure to know   Read more..
    Posted on 22 Sep, 2015
    By Chris Boucher
    Sharing Health Info With Vendors? Consider Them BAs
  • There is no sign that HIPAA will slow down on audits.
    Even halfway through the year, HIPAA compliance continues to be at the top of every practice’s must-watch list. The rub: It’s tough to know where to focus your compliance reviews. Experts offer advice on one particular area of compliance that HIPAA will continue to focus on:   Read more..
    Posted on 21 Sep, 2015
    By Chris Boucher
    Prep for OCR Scrutiny As HIPAA Continues 2015 Reviews
  • Alert patient, Secretary when private info gets exposed.
    When a HIPAA breach occurs at your practice, you must file notifications as per the instructions of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). They’re so serious about these notices, there’s even a rule on the books. “The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule, 45 CFR   Read more..
    Posted on 20 Sep, 2015
    By Chris Boucher
    Keep Feds Abreast Of All HIPAA Breaches
  • Remember, this exam is a one-time benefit for patients.
    Reporting your patients’ “Welcome to Medicare” initial preventive physical examinations (IPPE) seems straightforward enough. There are a couple of coding concerns you should keep in mind when reporting these services, however. Do this: Make sure your “Welcome …” claims are embraced every time you file them   Read more..
    Posted on 18 Sep, 2015
    By Chris Boucher
    Check Date Before Taking On ‘Welcome to Medicare’ Claims
  • HHS watchdog to put EHRs, generic drugs, ACOs in its sights.
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released its 2015 Work Plan Mid-Year Update for fiscal year (FY) 2015. If you haven’t at least given it a look, you should probably do so to be sure you aren’t missing out on some   Read more..
    Posted on 17 Sep, 2015
    By Chris Boucher
    OIG’s Revamped Work Plan Sums Up 2015 Focus
  • These services don’t have a one-size-fits-all code.
    Late summer is prime time for patients reporting to medical practices for physicals, either for school, sports, or some other reason. When these patients report for physicals, your coding will depend on the type of encounter, the patient’s status and some payer peculiarities. Check out these   Read more..
    Posted on 16 Sep, 2015
    By Chris Boucher
    Review All Options Before Choosing Physical Code
  • Patients who have been to your practice might qualify as ‘new.’
    If you haven’t brushed up on the new vs. established patient rules for office E/M services lately, here’s a quick FAQ on when to select each. Who is a new patient? Quite obviously, if your practice sees a patient for the first time ever, you should choose   Read more..
    Posted on 15 Sep, 2015
    By Chris Boucher
    Observe 3-Year Rule When Deciding New vs. Established
  • Info-packed site paves the way to ICD-10 success.
    ICD-10 is coming, and preparation is key for coders who want to hit the ground running when the diagnosis coding world completely changes in October. Luckily, CMS is doing its best to help with review tools, crosswalks and advice on how to stay ahead of the   Read more..
    Posted on 14 Sep, 2015
    By Chris Boucher
    Follow This CMS ‘Road’ to Prep For ICD-10
  • Physician must treat a ‘critical’ patient to code critical care.
    If you’re thinking that your physician provided critical care service to a patient, make sure you line the encounter notes up with the definition of critical care before reporting 99291 (Critical care, evaluation and management of the critically ill or critically injured patient; first 30-74   Read more..
    Posted on 13 Sep, 2015
    By Chris Boucher
    Check Patient’s Condition, Length of Service Before Choosing 99291