Health Information Management

Understand how never events, HACs differ

Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies, April 1, 2009

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Three new national coverage determinations are the latest steps in CMS’ initiative to highlight patient safety in hospitals and to reduce the incidence of never events, 28 serious reportable events classified by the National Quality Forum (NQF) that, as their name suggests, should never happen in a hospital.

For coders, it’s important to understand the differences between never events and hospital-acquired conditions. Coders will rarely see claims for the former, but—given their responsibility to add a present-on-admission indicator when appropriate—will play a large role in reimbursement for the latter.

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