Double checking ICD coding can improve safety, for spine patients: study

Spine

Spine clinics can save money by taking a closer look at ICD-10 coding, according to a study in the October edition of The Spine Journal.

Five things to know:

1. The study looked at all patients having spine surgery at a single multi-surgeon spine center.

2. Over two 11-month periods, the number and type of spine PSIs were compared before and after a specialty specific clinical review to identify incorrectly generated PSIs. The financial impact of the intervention was calculated as an annual cost savings.

3. In the first 11-month phas, 61 PSIs were reported in 3,368 spine cases. In the next phase, there are 26 PSIs in 4,482 cases, a decrease of 1.5 PSIs per month.

4. The results of the study avoided a 1 percent CMS cost reduction and an annual cost saving of $3 million to $4 million per year.

5. The study concluded: "The implementation of a clinical documentation review process with clinician collaboration to ensure ICD-10 coding accurately reflects the patient's medical course leads to more accurate PSI reporting, with the potential for substantial cost-savings for hospitals from CMS reimbursement."

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