Health Information Management

PPV: Consider operational aspects of the POA indicator

HIM-HIPAA Insider, September 18, 2007

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The present-on-admission (POA) indicator identifies whether a patient had a certain condition prior to hospital admission, and it is one more piece of information that coders must locate in medical records as of January 1, 2008.

Any time that you add responsibilities for coders, you should reevaluate your processes and standards, says Sandy Nicholson, MA, RHIA, CCS-P, CEO of HCRSolutions, LLC, in Locust Grove, GA. "As you add additional work, you lose staff if your productivity standards don't change," Nicholson says. Directors should account for the extra time it will take to query physicians, understand the POA guidelines, and correctly assign an indicator for each case, Nicholson says. This is particularly important for hospitals that use an incentive or payment program based on productivity rather than skill level.

Editor's note: For more information on the operational aspects of the POA indicator, click here. Subscribers to Medical Records Briefing can read the full article in the October 2007 issue. You can also purchase this article for $10 by clicking on the link above.



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