Home Health & Hospice

What is the best approach for coding congestive heart failure?

Homecare Insider, February 15, 2016

Coders need to be specific in coding the type of CHF (systolic, diastolic, or combined) and the severity (acute, chronic, or acute on chronic). Acute on chronic is also represented by the terms “decompensation” (the functional deterioration of a previously working structure or system) or “exacerbation” (a worsening or flare-up of the disease).

All codes beginning with I50- are case-mix codes for home health. When collecting information on cardiac diagnoses from the referral source or when reviewing the hospital information, be as specific as possible because the terminology utilized affects the final code assignment by the coder; a specific diagnosis also allows for individualized rather than generalized care planning.