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Selection of Principal Diagnosis for Inpatient Admission

Presenter Sara Cala, CIC
Broadcast Date 5/24/2023
Time 10:00am PT / 11:00am MT / 12:00pm CT / 1:00pm ET
Presentation Length 60 minutes
Price $65 (Non-members $85)
Selection of Principal Diagnosis for Inpatient Admission Webinar

Learn more about this event

Webinar Summary
This presentation will focus on correct coding and critical thinking for selecting a principal diagnosis for inpatient hospitalization. The presenters will walk through the ICD-10-CM 2023 Official Coding Guidelines Section II. Selection of Principal Diagnosis.

Section II makes references to other sections and chapters of the Official Coding Guidelines, and the relevance of these references to principal diagnosis selection will be discussed. Another focus of this presentation is to clearly explain the definition of principal diagnosis by walking through the meaning of each point in the definition. The presenters will also emphasize the difference between “principal diagnosis” vs. other terms such as admitting diagnosis, discharge diagnosis, and primary diagnosis.

Why is this topic important?
The selection of principal diagnosis is key to appropriate reimbursement for hospitals, and the importance of principal diagnosis to capture the context of the admission cannot be overemphasized. There are many key points that the coder needs to consider in selecting a principal diagnosis and must apply critical thinking to select the chief reason for admission.

Who would benefit from this topic?
All stakeholders involved can benefit from this topic, particularly inpatient coders and auditors, but also hospital staff, and anyone who has an interest in inpatient coding guidance.

What information or new skills will the attendee take away from this webinar?
The attendee will be able to take away from this presentation a better understanding of exactly what defines principal diagnosis, and how to correctly apply coding guidelines and critical thinking in selecting the chief reason for an inpatient admission.

What’s the presenter's background/expertise on this topic?
Sara has worked in DRG validation and clinical validation for the past 8 years and is a certified inpatient coder with RN background. She has experience in leadership, mentoring, and education and training. She also has extensive knowledge of hospital reimbursement. Her co-presenter, Crysta Dickens, brings a similar degree of experience, and both presenters are currently working in educational roles.

About The Author

Sara Cala, CIC

As a registered nurse (RN, BSN) and certified inpatient coder (CIC), Sara Cala has a total of 10 years’ experience in outpatient and inpatient coding, and thirty years’ experience in nursing in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Her earliest coding experience included hospital and ambulatory surgery billing and reimbursement. Sara has worked for the last eight years in both professional (CPT) and facility (DRG) coding in leadership roles that have included mentoring, education, and training, as well as in hospital reimbursement recovery resolution and auditing. Her broad clinical nursing background has been a significant supplement to this role. She has applied her nursing and clinical knowledge to a deeper understanding of coding, particularly as it applies to inpatient hospitalizations. Sara's key focus is education for all stakeholders.

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