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Using path. reports dx?

  1. Default Using path. reports dx?
    Medical Coding Books
    I'd like the opinions of others on this? I'm coding for ASC

    I have an operative report for a soft tissue mass removal of left heel?

    Dx on report is "soft tissue mass of left heel"
    Procedure: "Removal of soft tissue mass"

    Now the path report came back as "ganglion cyst". So now do I code this as cpt 28090 for excision of lesion including ganglion cyst or should I go with the intent of the procedure and choose CPT 28043? & should the icd9 ganglion cyst be used or 782.2/239.2?

    I've been told by audit consultants that the coders should go with the intent of the procedure and what the primary surgeon actually performed and not what the path. Report came back with

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Location
    Piedmont Area Coders, VA
    Posts
    51
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    The policy of our Department is that IF the OP note specifies path was sent, we hold the billing of the case for the return of the report. To do otherwise seems..... generic, i guess. Your codes are not definitive & specific, so how can you really choose the correct CPT?
    Our Audit and Compliance officers have agreed, that as long as it is clearly stated "PATH sent", we can use the report for final coding.
    dc
    RHIT,CPC

  3. #3
    Default
    You should not wait and code from the path report you code signs and symptoms at the time of surgery. The path report dx should be used for the follow up visit w/the physician. Here is some info from the ICD-9 Coding Clinic:

    ICD-9 CODING CLINIC, Vol 21 No 1, 1st Qtr 2004 you will find specific reference to using the radiology REPORT and how it can be used:

    "Coders are confused as to why using the PATHOLOGY REPORT for greater CODING specificity is different from CODING the specific site of a fracture as documented on an x-ray REPORT as published in CODING CLINIC, First Quarter 1999, page 5.
    Answer
    In the example published in CODING CLINIC, First Quarter 1999, page 5, the physician had already documented the femoral fracture. Additional detail regarding the specific site on the femur (i.e., shaft) was being picked up from the x-ray REPORT. There is a difference in CODING the documented clinical DIAGNOSis from the attending physician and CODING unconfirmed findings. When CODING strictly from the PATHOLOGY REPORT, the coder is assigning a DIAGNOSis based on the PATHological findings alone without the attending physician's corroboration.'

    ICD-9 CODING Clinic, Vol 16 No 1, 1st Qtr 1999
    "Question:
    A patient comes into the hospital with a fracture of the femur. Upon discharge, the physician lists in his final DIAGNOStic statement, fracture of femur. However, when reviewing the medical record, the x-ray REPORT states that the site of fracture is the shaft of the femur. Is it appropriate to use the x-ray results to provide further specificity to this DIAGNOSis for CODING purposes?

    Answer:
    Assign code 821.01, Fracture of other and unspecified parts of femur, Shaft. Coders should always review the entire medical record to ensure complete and accurate CODING. If the physician does not list the specific site of the fracture, but there is an x-ray REPORT in the medical record that does, it is appropriate for the coder to assign the more specific code without obtaining concurrence from the physician. However, if there is any question as to the appropriate DIAGNOSis, the coder should consult with the physician before assigning a DIAGNOSis code."

    Per ICD-9 guidelines you can use the chart to get information regarding appropriate CODING.

    "A joint effort between the healthcare provider and the coder is essential to achieve complete and accurate documentation, code assignment, and REPORTing of DIAGNOSes and procedures. These guidelines have been developed to assist both the healthcare provider and the coder in identifying those DIAGNOSes and procedures that are to be REPORTed. The importance of consistent, complete documentation in the MEDICAL RECORD cannot be overemphasized. Without such documentation accurate CODING cannot be achieved. The entire record should be reviewed to determine the specific reason for the encounter and the conditions treated."

    ICD-9 CODING Clinic, Vol 1 No 3, Sep-Oct 1984
    "What information should coders review in the medical record to ensure that all DIAGNOSes affecting the admission are documented? History and physical exam, discharge summary, operative REPORT, PATHOLOGY REPORT, DIAGNOStic test results, medication records, and physician progress notes should be considered."

    ICD-9 CODING Clinic, Vol 7 No 1, 1st Qtr 1990
    "Question: A patient has come back for a routine check of her mastectomy site, three years status-post her original operation. After a suspicious lump was biopsied, it was found that the cancer had reoccurred. How should this be coded?

    Answer: Code to the level of specificity known for each visit. The first visit would have been coded to V71.1, Observation for the suspected malignant neoplasm, as the physician is following up a patient known to have had cancer previously. A secondary code for that visit would have been V10.3, Personal history of malignant neoplasm, Breast. After the biopsy REPORT has been received and the patient comes back for consultation, code the results of the PATHOLOGY REPORT."

    ICD-9 CODING Clinic, Vol 17 No 1, 1st Qtr 2000
    "Question:
    A skin lesion of the cheek is surgically removed and submitted to the pathologist for analysis. The surgeon writes on the PATHOLOGY order, “skin lesion.” The PATHOLOGY REPORT comes back with the DIAGNOSis of “basal cell carcinoma.” A laboratory-billing consultant is recommending that the ordering physician's DIAGNOSis be REPORTed instead of the final DIAGNOSis obtained by the pathologist. Also, an insurance carrier is also suggesting this case be coded to ”skin lesion” since the surgeon did not know the nature of the lesion at the time the tissue was sent to PATHOLOGY. Which code should the pathologist use to REPORT his claim?

    Answer:
    The pathologist is a physician and if a DIAGNOSis made it can be coded. It is appropriate for the pathologist to code what is known at the time of code assignment. For example, if the pathologist has made a DIAGNOSis of basal cell carcinoma, assign code 173.3, Other malignant neoplasm of skin, skin of other and unspecified parts of face. If the pathologist had not come up with a definitive DIAGNOSis, it would be appropriate to code the reason why the specimen was submitted, in this instance, the skin lesion of the cheek.

    Question:
    A patient undergoes outpatient surgery for removal of a breast MASS. The pre- and post-operative DIAGNOSis REPORTed as “breast MASS.” The pathological DIAGNOSis fibroadenoma. How should the hospital outpatient coder code this? Previous CODING Clinic advice has precluded us from assigning codes on the basis of laboratory findings. Does the same advice apply to pathological REPORTs?

    Answer:
    Previously published advice has warned against CODING from laboratory results alone, without physician interpretation. However, the pathologist is a physician and the PATHOLOGY REPORT serves as the pathologist's interpretation and a microscopic confirmatory REPORT regarding the morphology of the tissue excised. Therefore, a PATHOLOGY REPORT provides greater specificity. Assign code 217, Benign neoplasm of breast, for the fibroadenoma of the breast. It is appropriate for coders to code based on the physician documentation available at the time of code assignment."

    ICD-9 CODING Clinic, Vol 19 No 2, 2nd Qtr 2002
    "Question:
    A patient is admitted to the hospital where she undergoes a hysterectomy for possible endometriosis. The PATHOLOGY REPORT revealed adenocarcinoma of the endometrium. The discharge summary was not available at the time of CODING. Is it appropriate for the coder to assign a DIAGNOSis code for the adenocarcinoma based on the PATHOLOGY REPORT?

    Answer:
    As previously stated, the advice published in CODING Clinic, First Quarter 2000, was only intended for CODING and REPORTing for outpatient services, where physician documentation is sometimes quite limited. It does not apply to inpatient CODING. For inpatient CODING, if the attending physician does not confirm the pathological findings, query the attending physician regarding the clinical significance of the findings and request that appropriate documentation be provided. Refer to the Official Guidelines for CODING and REPORTing, Section lll B, Abnormal Findings, for additional information."

    Another issue that we all code wrong are pregnant patients being treated for unrelated pregnant conditions - and also the neoplasm uncertain behavior codes we get wrong.

    ICD-9 CODING Clinic Vol 23 No 1, 1st Qtr 2006
    "When CODING a DIAGNOSis documented as a MASS of a particular site and that site is not listed under the main term “MASS,” is it appropriate to look under the term “LESION,” and if not found under “LESION” should we refer to the site in the Table of Neoplasms?

    Answer:
    It is incorrect to select a code from the neoplasm table when only the terms “MASS” or “LESION” are used. The coder should follow the cross-references under the main term representing the documented DIAGNOSis. If a final DIAGNOSis documented as “lump” and there is no index entry for the affected organ or site under “lump” in the index, look up the main term “MASS,” as directed by the “see also” note under the main term “lump.” If there is no index entry for the specific site under “MASS,” look up the main term “disease.” The index directs you to see Disease of specified organ or site for “MASS, specified organ NEC.”

  4. #4
    Location
    Piedmont Area Coders, VA
    Posts
    51
    Default
    I think your posts give conflicting advice... Especially this one:
    Question:
    A patient undergoes outpatient surgery for removal of a breast MASS. The pre- and post-operative DIAGNOSis REPORTed as “breast MASS.” The pathological DIAGNOSis fibroadenoma. How should the hospital outpatient coder code this? Previous CODING Clinic advice has precluded us from assigning codes on the basis of laboratory findings. Does the same advice apply to pathological REPORTs?

    Answer:
    Previously published advice has warned against CODING from laboratory results alone, without physician interpretation. However, the pathologist is a physician and the PATHOLOGY REPORT serves as the pathologist’s interpretation and a microscopic confirmatory REPORT regarding the morphology of the tissue excised. Therefore, a PATHOLOGY REPORT provides greater specificity. Assign code 217, Benign neoplasm of breast, for the fibroadenoma of the breast. It is appropriate for coders to code based on the physician documentation available at the time of code assignment."

    Especially with Neoplasms, our hospital has advised us to give Path a chance to come back with the definitive Dx. Really, it is a delay of less than a week from DOS, and that seems to be standard outpatient physician surgical billing turn-around time for our University, especially since we can not bill without a SIGNED Op note.. (we are a teaching facility...)
    dc
    RHIT,CPC

  5. #5
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    12,528
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lax Wido View Post
    I think your posts give conflicting advice... Especially this one:
    Question:
    A patient undergoes outpatient surgery for removal of a breast MASS. The pre- and post-operative DIAGNOSis REPORTed as “breast MASS.” The pathological DIAGNOSis fibroadenoma. How should the hospital outpatient coder code this? Previous CODING Clinic advice has precluded us from assigning codes on the basis of laboratory findings. Does the same advice apply to pathological REPORTs?

    Answer:
    Previously published advice has warned against CODING from laboratory results alone, without physician interpretation. However, the pathologist is a physician and the PATHOLOGY REPORT serves as the pathologist's interpretation and a microscopic confirmatory REPORT regarding the morphology of the tissue excised. Therefore, a PATHOLOGY REPORT provides greater specificity. Assign code 217, Benign neoplasm of breast, for the fibroadenoma of the breast. It is appropriate for coders to code based on the physician documentation available at the time of code assignment."

    Especially with Neoplasms, our hospital has advised us to give Path a chance to come back with the definitive Dx. Really, it is a delay of less than a week from DOS, and that seems to be standard outpatient physician surgical billing turn-around time for our University, especially since we can not bill without a SIGNED Op note.. (we are a teaching facility...)
    The coding clinic is making a distinction between laboratory and pathology. You may code from path but not lab reports, the difference being labs have no physician interpretation and the path has been interpreted by a physician (pathologist). It is important to remember this applies only to outpatient and physician coders and is not valid for inpatient facility coders.
    Also when using coding clinics it is best to follow them very closely, at times a Coding Clinic will supersede an older one making the older one no longer valid. Coding Clinics are wonderful and an extremely valuable tool, and they are recognized as THE coding expert among many authorities... BUT you do need to keep up with them and really read all of them.

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

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