Primary Care Coding Alert - eNewsletter

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Primary Care Coding Alert - an AAPC eNewsletter

Overlooking subtle code and guideline revisions is costly — and with reimbursement under pressure, it’s imperative for your primary care practice to stay in the know and get ahead of claim denials.

Let Us Help You Secure Full Pay for Your Primary Care Services

Each month in your annual e-subscription, Primary Care Coding Alert delivers effective, to-the-point coding and billing guidance to help your physician practice secure optimal reimbursement.

Stay on top of the latest CPT®, HCPCS, and ICD-10 code changes, as well as regulatory updates and revisions to modifiers, payer policies, the physician fee schedule, OIG watch list, and more.

Primary Care Coding Alert walks you through quarterly NCCI edits impacting your practice, showing you what codes are bundled, when and how to overcome an edit — and when, even when permissible, it’s inadvisable to seek separate payment.

From flu vaccines to IPPEs and AWVs and whether you can bill an E/M code with an annual check-up, your e-subscription will pay for itself.

5 More Reasons to Subscribe to Primary Care Coding Alert

  • Reliable Working Knowledge: Overcome claim denials as you gain insight into a range of internal medicine and primary care reporting issues — including immunizations, preventive services, E/M components, modifiers, and more.
  • Time Saver: Our online primary care coding archive gives you access to thousands of articles dating back to 1999, all of which can be searched by code or keyword to deliver what you need in an instant.
  • ICD-10 Education: Specialty-specific ICD-10 guidance fast-tracks your primary care diagnosis coding, helping you to establish medical necessity and code to the highest level of specificity.
  • Practical Tools: Download handy clip ‘n’ save cheat sheets and checklists covering subjects such as E/M coding, bilateral billing rules, and auditing.
  • Annual CEUs: Earn 6 CEUs with your annual subscription to Primary Care Coding Alert — at no extra cost. CEUs may be applied toward maintaining your CPC, CFPC, or CIMC.

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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If you are an existing Codify customer, use your existing credentials to login to your account. You will be able to view all purchased eNewsletters in your Codify account under ‘My Publications’.

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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.

Find out when it’s appropriate to use codes from the G89.- category. Low back pain codes continue to give coders trouble, and with good reason: it’s been less than a year since three new codes were added to ICD-10. Read on for guidance on when and how to report them. Identify Whether the Pain Is Vertebrogenic or Discogenic “Chronic low [...]

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And identify the correct documentation necessary to support it. One of the most commonly misunderstood, and therefore often incorrectly used modifiers, is 25 (Significant, separately identifiable evaluation and management service by the same physician or other qualified health care professional on the same day of the procedure or other service). Even when an encounter deservers modifier 25, the documentation may [...]

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Practice identifying the nuances of coding this common yet complex condition Frequent constipation results in 2.5 million doctor visits each year, and it’s estimated that about 4 million people in the United States suffer from it, according to John Hopkins Medicine. Common codes aren’t always straight-forward though, since the condition can occur under so many different circumstances. [...]

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Question: The doctor’s notes say this patient has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and problems with attention, but it seems like I need more information to pick the right code. For example, what is the difference between F90.0 and F98.8? The alphabetical index says F90.0 is a code for inattentive type attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and that F98.8 is a code for [...]

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Question: I work at a family practice and the doctor has come across CPT® codes 99050 and 99051 and thinks we should be able to bill 99051 for our Saturday visits because it falls on a weekend during our regular office schedule. Our normal office hours are: Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 [...]

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Question: A patient with sleep apnea was fitted for a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, and they come in for a follow-up. The provider determined the patient’s compliance by downloading the smart card of the CPAP. Would this be included as ordering a procedure or independent interpretation when determining the level of medical decision making (MDM)? New York Subscriber Answer: This [...]

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