Health Information Management

Coding, CDI focus on heart disease differs

HIM-HIPAA Insider, February 16, 2015

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Coronary artery disease (CAD) develops when the arteries that supply the blood to the heart muscles become hardened and narrowed due to a buildup of cholesterol and other materials, such as plaque, on their inner wall. It's also called atherosclerosis.

CAD is the most common type of heart disease and occurs in a wide range of patients. This chronic condition is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Usually, but not always, the complications associated with CAD are what lead to death, rather than the chronic condition itself, says Cheryl Ericson, MS, RN, CCDS, CDIP, associate director of education for the Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) Specialists in Danvers, Massachusetts.
The thing that's tricky from a CDI perspective is that CAD is not something that typically needs to be treated in the inpatient setting, Ericson says. Physicians can usually monitor and treat patients very well in the outpatient setting. As such, CDI specialists need to look for the acute reason for the admission, that is, the new symptom associated with the chronic CAD, which is often the cause of the inpatient admission.
Continue reading "Coding, CDI focus on heart disease differs" on the HCPro website. Subscribers to Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies have free access to this article in the February issue.

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