Health Information Management

Pay per view: Avoid encoder traps to ensure coding compliance

APCs Insider, July 25, 2008

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Run your software: don?t let it run you
 
Encoders are quickly becoming some of the most valuable coding resources, but software is just one tool to accurate code assignment. Overreliance on it can hinder?not help?compliant coding.
 
What is an encoder?
An encoder is a computer application that generates ICD-9 and/or CPT codes. The encoder bases its code selection on clinical documentation that practitioners provide and that qualified health information management professionals, such as coders, enter into the system.
 
There are two different encoder approaches, both of which prompt a coder to begin by entering a keyword or a code: 
  • Logic-based?the keyword entry generates a series of prompts or questions that end with a suggested code
  • Dictionary-driven?the keyword entry brings up a menu of codes from which a coder can choose 
Click here to learn more about how to properly use encoders. JustCoding.com subscribers have free access to this article in the July 16th issue via their online subscriptions.



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