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Thread: Definition of "Legible"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    High Point

    Default Definition of "Legible"

    AAPC: Back to School
    OK.....I need some help with this one.

    I am a coding review nurse for a payor. I sent a review to one of our medical directors. The documentation was completely illegible (so I thought)! Recommended to uphold denial as documentation was illegible. Now, mind you, I am a nurse that has had to decipher what appeared to be ancient heiroglyphics before. If I think it's illegible, it's a pretty good bet that no one outside the medical field would be able to read it.

    I was shocked to have this come back from the MD stating "I can read this". Although he agreed to uphold it was for a different reason.

    Based on this, I am now starting to question my definition of "legible". Does anyone know of a standard of legibility?

    Any thoughts/comments/resources would be helpful!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    In a meet from Ingenix the speaker explained if a 5 year old can't read it it's not legible. She was performing audits for medicare and gave us that description.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Columbia, MO


    I was told by an OIG auditor that if the auditor cannot read it with minimal effort then it did not happen.

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    High Point

    Default Thanks!

    Thanks for the responses.

    I always felt like anyone who is capable of reading English should be able to read it, but I wanted to make sure after the response I got from my medical director........

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