Otolaryngology Coding Alert - eNewsletter

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Otolaryngology Coding Alert – an AAPC eNewsletter

ENT coders know it’s easy to go wrong when trying to determine if a procedure qualifies as a palatopharyngoplasty or pharyngoplasty. But Otolaryngology Coding Alert sorts through operative report variables to show you how to confirm exactly what your surgeon performed.

Make it easy on yourself — and boost your productivity and profits — with your monthly e-subscription to Otolaryngology Coding Alert.

Trusted, High-Impact Coding Advice for a Profitable Otolaryngology Practice

From navigating nuanced guidelines for malunion and nonunion fractures to acing whether a claim requires modifier 52 or modifier 53, Otolaryngology Coding Alert has the info you need to keep your claims on track.

Every issue of this eNewsletter delivers high-impact tips and coding tutorials to help you overcome the challenges threatening your bottom line. Stay on top of code and guideline changes, as well as regulatory updates and revisions to NCCI bundles, modifiers, payer policies, the physician fee schedule, the OIG watch list, and more. 

5 More Reasons to Subscribe to Otolaryngology Coding Alert

  • On-Target Coding: Build your coding repertoire with insights into diverse otolaryngology reporting scenarios involving E/M components, CPT® modifiers, op reports, global packages, and more.
  • Practical Tools: Download handy clip-and-save cheat sheets and checklists covering E/M coding, bilateral billing rules, and auditing for at-a-glance reference.
  • ICD-10 Education: Hone your diagnosis coding with otolaryngology-specific ICD-10 guidance, showing you how to code to the highest level of specificity and establish medical necessity for your services.
  • Fingertip Access: Get unlimited access to a keyword-searchable database where you can find solutions to dilemmas covered in archived issues of Otolaryngology Coding Alert.
  • Annual CEUs: Sharpen your coding chops and earn 6 CEUs with your e-subscription to Otolaryngology Coding Alert. CEUs may be applied toward maintaining your CPC or CENTC.

Newsletters are regular and timely publications written by subject matter experts with their fingers on the pulse of your industry.

In the case of coding newsletters, your subscription will give you all the latest information you need, plus a refresher on things you might have learned but forgotten.

Coding newsletters feature real reader questions, interviews, and guidance from experts. You’ll find clinical scenarios and expert advice to explain code choice and guide you through the code selection process. A specialty-specific newsletter promotes accurate coding, leading to higher revenues and less time and money wasted on justifying billing.

Non-coding healthcare newsletters provide up-to-the-minute news on changes in federal regulations governing reimbursement and legislative developments. You’ll find ways to navigate often dense government-speak and learn how to apply regulatory changes to your practice or agency.

The knowledge disseminated in each newsletter issue can help protect your practice or business from costly mistakes and even help boost your revenue with guidance on the best ways to:

  • Code challenging scenarios or use modifiers correctly
  • Stay on top of the latest news and regulatory changes pertaining to the healthcare market
  • Learn how to ethically optimize your reporting to avoid undercoding and missed opportunities

Healthcare Business Monthly is a broad-scope publication that provides information on a range of topics, including human-interest stories based on coders. It also covers healthcare issues beyond coding, compliance, or post-acute care — such as front-desk etiquette, keeping the office clean, etc.

Coding newsletters, more focused than Healthcare Business Monthly, exclusive cover coding, billing, and regulations for the title specialty.

Non-coding healthcare newsletters dig into the regulatory news pertaining to healthcare. These are up-to-the-minute publications. You won’t find such in-depth information for compliance, practice management, MDS, home health, or hospice in Healthcare Business Monthly.

AAPC coding newsletters will help new coders get up to speed on the job. The articles cover several in-specialty topics each month and delve into the specifics of coding procedures and services. A new coder could get information on a coding scenario in a newsletter before they encounter it in the workplace, which is a huge asset.

Coding newsletters provide more exposure to the news you need, and the quizzes offer an opportunity to apply your coding knowledge in a low-stakes situation. Newsletter articles and reader questions add to and reinforce coder training. You’ll find expert opinions and advice from trusted and experienced sources that can help you understand the nuances of the profession.

Throughout the year, all newsletters contain updates to codes and coding guidelines that are vital to new and veteran coders. From articles on code changes and quarterly National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) edits to discussions of ad-hoc guideline changes issued by CMS and other agencies, newsletters keep coders informed and current. Having a specialty-focused publication addressing and analyzing updates is an important tool for every coder.

For instance, NCCI edits are often applied behind the scenes to coding software, and coders may be staring at a denial without realizing why. Newsletter articles will update coders to the edits that affect their practices the most and translate them into practical advice. That way, even veteran coders will be aware.

Secondly, there is so much to remember in coding that everyone occasionally forgets how to report something. The newsletter provides a monthly refresher on coding topics that a veteran coder might not have seen in a while.

Finally, most AAPC coding newsletters provide coders with regular AAPC CEU opportunities that can help keep your credentials current.

CPT® is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

Most coding newsletters are specific to a medical specialty, and coders working in those specialties should obviously subscribe to newsletters aligned with their professional interests.
Several newsletters feature subject matter that crosses specialty lines. E/M Coding Alert, ICD-10 Coding Alert, and Health Information Compliance, for example, all contain articles and reader questions applicable to most specialties, practices, and institutions.

You’ll also find newsletters dedicated to compliance, practice management, skilled nursing facility, home health, hospice, and Medicare Part B. These newsletters are beneficial to practice managers, billing/coding staff, Minimum Data Set nurses, clinicians, and administrators.


eNewsletter Title


Medical Coding

Anesthesia Coding Alert


Cardiology Coding Alert


E/M Coding Alert


ED Coding Alert


Gastroenterology Coding Alert


General Surgery Coding Alert


ICD-10 Coding Alert


Neurology and Pain Management Coding Alert


Neurosurgery Coding Alert


Ob-gyn Coding Alert


Oncology/Hematology Coding Alert


Optometry/Ophthalmology Coding Alert


Orthopedic Coding Alert


Otolaryngology Coding Alert


Path/Lab Coding Alert


Pediatric Coding Alert


Podiatry Coding and Billing Alert


Primary Care Coding Alert


Pulmonology Coding Alert


Radiology Coding Alert


Urology Coding Alert



Health Information Compliance Alert


Medicare Compliance & Reimbursement


Part B Insider


Practice Management Alert



Home Care Week


Hospice Insider


MDS Alert


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AAPC newsletters are all available in full-color electronic format. The “flipbook” format functions like an online magazine. You’ll be able to click on live links in articles to go directly to resource websites, and you can do keyword searches of the newsletter.

Articles in an eNewsletter can be downloaded to your computer and then printed.

Newsletters monthly issue date varies from month to month. Different newsletter may or may not be published on the same date of the month.

Fees paid for any subscription term are paid in advance and are not refundable in whole or in part. You may terminate your subscription at any time and continue using the services until the expiration of your pre-paid term.

How to Cancel: You may terminate your subscription by contacting AAPC via phone or email. To ensure that your credit card does not get charged, please make your cancelation request at least two business days prior to the end date of your subscription term.

You will not be able to log in to your account to view a newsletter once your subscription expires. If you decide to end your subscription but would like to refer to past articles, you should download the articles prior to the expiration of your subscription.

Several major payers are implementing negative reimbursement policies for ablation when performed for chronic rhinitis. By now, many otolaryngology coders have seen charts describing ablations for treating chronic rhinitis. What coders haven’t become as familiar with are how to report these procedures — and several payers recently made the process even more confusing. Check out five key tips to understand [...]

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Hint: Don’t forget modifier AI when necessary. Whether your ENT is seeing hospital patients following trauma, infections, balance issues, or following surgery, you absolutely must know how to report the inpatient evaluation and management (E/M) codes. But although the outpatient coding rules changed in 2021, you’ll still need to use the 1995 or 1997 guidelines for history, exam, and medical [...]

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If you’re getting to know the inpatient codes more closely, it might be a good idea to understand which hospital codes otolaryngologists are reporting nationally. The following are the codes most often reported by otolaryngologists, according to a Medicare statistical analysis E/M Code Comparison report that was run on Nov. 13, 2020 and released by Part B MAC Palmetto GBA [...]

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Don’t let the NPI nuances slip your mind when billing for substitute physicians. With warmer weather on the horizon, your otolaryngology practice may already be planning ahead for summer absences, including physician breaks for vacations, sabbaticals, or health reasons. If so, you may be hiring another physician to temporarily help out while your practice’s physicians are out on leave. All [...]

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Question: I submitted notes to my insurer multiple times, and they are continuing to deny my claims for nasal endoscopy (31231), stating that the elements of the interior nasal cavity were not inspected, even though the note clearly states that the physician inspected “all elements.” Can you advise? Maine Subscriber Answer: Unfortunately, documenting that “all elements were inspected” may not [...]

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Question: Can we switch to gap analysis of how we implement HIPAA compliance instead of performing an annual risk analysis? We’ve heard it is more straightforward. Codify Subscriber Answer: A gap analysis has some benefits, but overall, your organization is better off sticking with the more thorough and involved risk analysis for HIPAA planning. Here’s why: “A gap analysis is [...]

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