Health Information Management

News: Simple mistakes cause profound costs

CDI Strategies, October 29, 2009

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to CDI Strategies!

Sometimes documentation mistakes caught by CDI professionals are the simple ones. Like an incorrect date. A news brief from New York Injury News outlined the trials of HIV patient who lost his insurance coverage due to inaccurate documentation of a blood-test date.
CDI professionals well know the costs of seemingly simple mistakes. This particular case ended up costing the insurance company, Fortis, $10 million for inappropriate denial of healthcare coverage and added untold difficulties to a young man’s life.
Although all CDI specialists’ catches may not affect IPPS reimbursement or severity of illness, CDI specialists catch these seemingly simple yet significant mistakes all the time. So here’s a special request to ACDIS members and CDI Strategies readers: Tell us about some of the otherwise unseen documentation catches you make everyday. Send the funniest, most heart wrenching, or simply ‘best catch’ documentation stories by the mid-November.
For example, Lori Schmitz, RHIA, documentation specialist team leader for Mississippi Baptist Health Systems, in Jackson, recounted how a documentation explained that a patient presented to the hospital post a laparosopic nephrectomy due to a piece of chicken pot pie getting lodged in his throat, which resulted in some hypoxia that could not be treated conservatively. Initially, says Schmitz, the report said "chicken potassium pie".
Send us your ‘catches’ and we will run them by our editorial staff and pick the best to publish. E-mail Associate Director Melissa Varnavas at

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to CDI Strategies!

    Briefings on APCs
  • Briefings on APCs

    Worried about the complexities of the new rules under OPPS and APCs? Briefings on APCs helps you understand the new rules...

  • HIM Briefings

    Guiding Health Information Management professionals through the continuously changing field of medical records and toward a...

  • Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies

    Submitting improper Medicare documentation can lead to denial of fees, payback, fines, and increased diligence from payers...

  • Briefings on HIPAA

    How can you minimize the impact of HIPAA? Subscribe to Briefings on HIPAA, your health information management resource for...

  • APCs Insider

    This HTML-based e-mail newsletter provides weekly tips and advice on the new ambulatory payment classifications regulations...

Most Popular