Health Information Management

Get acquainted with chronic conditions

Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies, August 1, 2008

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How do you define chronic? Many medical dictionaries and Web sites describe chronic diseases as long lasting or recurrent. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality prefers a more substantial definition; it says that chronic conditions are “expected to last one year and result in limitations in self-care, independent living, and social interactions or in the need for ongoing medical intervention.”

“I think this is a really good definition,” says Leatrice Ford, RN, BSN, CCS, CEO and founder of ConsultCare Partners, LLC, in Louisville, KY. “[Chronic conditions] either impair somebody or require continuing medical attention. They can be chronically stable with some recurrences.”

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