Health Information Management

Perspectives on chronic left ventricular heart failure: A coder and a physician team up to offer guidance

Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies, June 1, 2009

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Selecting a code for a patient with heart failure used to be fairly straightforward; fewer codes existed for the condition, and those available weren’t as specific. This was helpful only in that it meant coders needed less information from physicians to make an accurate code choice. But from a data accuracy and specificity standpoint, the codes were lacking.

It’s crucial that coders understand the intricacies of heart failure, including the myriad potential causes of the condition, as well as the difference between acute and chronic, and systolic and diastolic heart failure. It’s equally important for physicians to provide detailed documentation.

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