Surgical Complications Don’t Have to Be Complicated in New York City

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  • July 10, 2019
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Surgical Complications Don’t Have to Be Complicated in New York City

AAPC’s New York City Regional Conference (Aug. 19-21) is the place to be for everyone on the revenue management side of healthcare; it provides the latest education, networking, vendors, and opportunities to keep you ahead of other healthcare business professionals. If you are a medical coderbiller, or auditor, you’ll find it’s a treasure trove of career resources ― all in one amazing place: The Big Apple.
This year’s lineup of speakers includes Subject Matter Expert (SME) Leonta (Lee) Williams, BSHIM, RHIT, CPC, CPCO, CHONC, CEMC, CRC, CCDS, CCS, who will be speaking about how “Surgical Complications Don’t Have to Be Complicated.”

Meet Our SME

Williams has more than 15 years of combined health information management experience as a consultant, coding director, educator, trainer, and practice manager. She is the founder and past president of the Covington, Ga., local chapter and serves as secretary on AAPC’s National Advisory Board.
AAPC asked Williams about her presentation, and why it’s so important to attend. Here is what she said:
AAPC: Describe your presentation “Surgical Complications Don’t Have to Be Complicated.”
Determining when a condition occurring post-surgery is a complication or not can sometimes be a difficult task. Coders must be able to validate a cause and effect relationship between the post-op condition and the treatment rendered before assigning a complication code. They must also be able to correctly apply coding guidelines to assign the appropriate code(s). This presentation will help define those cause and effect relationships, as well as identify conditions which typically are inherent and/or unavoidable; and therefore, may not be a complication at all.
AAPC: What are key takeaways from your presentation?
LW: The presentation will teach you to:

  • Define cause and effect relationships
  • Identify cases where a condition may be inherent to the surgical procedure performed
  • Examine scenarios where a query may be required to get to the right code

AAPC: Why do regional conference-goers need to attend your presentation?
LW: Every surgical procedure has inherent risks. Assigning a complication code to a record can have tremendous financial implications for a facility. Coders should have a solid clinical foundation on disease processes, treatment risks, and coding guidelines to successfully differentiate between a surgical complication and a routine occurrence.
AAPC: Who will benefit from it most?
Coders, auditors, and CDI specialists across all specialties would benefit from this presentation, but surgical coders may benefit most.
AAPC: What made you choose the topic “Surgical Complications Don’t Have to Be Complicated” to speak about?
LW: Years ago, I was an inpatient coder for a hospital organization in the Philadelphia area. When it came to coding surgical complications, I realized just how complicated this could be at times. Over time, I gained a better understanding of the guidelines, improved my clinical acumen, and spent time researching how reporting these codes impacted care delivery. I recently had the pleasure of educating providers on the coding guidelines and importance of their documentation. In return, I received education from them related to the clinical aspects and outcomes of certain surgical procedures. This is the type of relationship (between provider and coder) needed for success in improving documentation practices, revenue cycle, and most importantly ― quality of care.

Learn More About the NYC Regional Conference

Visit the NYC Regional Conference page to read about Williams’ session and more.
See you there!
Photo by Quintin Gellar from Pexels

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Michelle A. Dick, BS, is a freelance content specialist, providing writing, editorial expertise, and graphic imagery to clients. Prior to becoming a free agent, she was an executive editor for AAPC, editor-in-chief at Eli Research, and editor at Element K Journals. After earning a Bachelor of Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo State, Dick entered the publishing industry as a graphic artist, ad coordinator, and web designer for White Directory Publishers, Inc.

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