Health Information Management

Use a change-of-status form to ensure compliance when reporting condition code 44

HIM-HIPAA Insider, June 30, 2009

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A change-of-status form will help ensure that a hospital meets all of the criteria for reporting condition code 44, says Judith Kares, JD, CPC, regulatory specialist at HCPro, Inc., in Marblehead, MA. The form should include the following:

  • A statement about the hospital’s decision to change the patient’s status from inpatient to outpatient, including appropriate rationale
  • Information about how this decision will affect the patient medically and financially
  • Documentation that the hospital informed the patient’s physician of the status change and asked him or her to offer input
  • A place for two required signatures, one from a utilization review (UR) committee member and the other from the patient’s attending physician or an additional UR committee member

Keep the original form in the patient’s medical record and provide copies to the patient and his or her physician, Kares says. Keep a third copy in the UR committee records.

Editor’s note: This article was adapted from the June issue of Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies.

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