Observation Service Is Back In Spot Light!

According to the recent Key Indicators Report, the last quarter of 2013 saw an increase of 19 percent in hospital observation services.

DURHAM, N.C., April 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The use of observation is often misunderstood, especially the difference between observation services and inpatient admission. The Key Indicator Report* says that the recent news stories have highlighted how hospital patients are unhappy as they are unaware of the financial implications of their hospital observation services. Though the cost of providing observation services is often less than providing inpatient services for both the patient and the hospital, observation status is considered an outpatient service and is thus subject to Medicare Part B co-payments, which is sometimes surprising to patients. Recently, a famous hospital chain filed suit against another hospital, questioning its admission practices –alleging that it routinely admitted patients as inpatient, rather than observation, to bolster revenues.

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For hospitals, it is important to know what observation is, how to distinguish it from inpatient admission, how physician should document to justify observation services, what should a physician document at discharge from observation to get correct reimbursement. The documentation requirement for observation services is massive, and knowing the intricacies is imperative to avoid denials. Expert speaker Duane Abbey, Ph.D.  is going to talk about the concept of observation and associated services in an upcoming audio session at


Here's a glimpse of the event:

Observation Documentation for Proper Coding, Billing and Reimbursement
Join Duane Abbey, Ph.D in this audio session on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, where he will show how an observation log can assist in justifying observation, should condition code 44 be used or not and how does the use of condition code 44 affect the documentation. He will discuss how nursing staff and other clinical staff should document to support coding and billing for observation.

Topics covered in the session:

Comprehend the concept of observation and associated services

  • Know how physicians should document to justify observation services
  • What all physicians should document when the patient is discharged from observation services
  • Your documentation must always support the coding and billing process
  • Know how observation differs from inpatient admissions
  • Insights on the medical decision making relative to the over 2-midnights rule
  • It is imperative to track hours of observation including intervening services
  • Know how an Observation Log can assist in reviewing documentation and appropriateness of coding and billing.
  • Make use of Condition Code 44 and the documentation requirements surrounding the use of Condition Code 44
  • Comprehend the use of standard observation protocols or care paths
  • Identify the documentation requirements that will satisfy auditor requirements
  • Know why Medicare is so concerned about post-surgery observation
  • Insights on how Medicare reimbursement is affected by a procedure performed after observation
  • Learn how private payers view and use observation services.

For more information, http://www.audioeducator.com/medical-coding-billing/observation-service-04-08-14.html

Other Conferences at AudioEducator

Modifiers 51, 52, and 59 - More Clarity On Their Usage
Join Elin Baklid-Kunz, MBA, CHC, CPC, CCS in this audio conference on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, to get an overview of modifiers 51, 52, and 59. You'll walk away with such mantras as "Use modifier 59 only as a modifier of last resort" that can spare your practice headaches.

Topics covered in the session:

  • Identify the compliance risk with inappropriate use of modifiers.
  • Define modifier 51, 52, and 59.
  • Review how you should appropriately use modifiers 51, 52, and 59 — you may be surprised.
  • Follow these best practices to mitigate risk.

For more information, http://www.audioeducator.com/medical-coding-billing/modifiers-51-52-and-59.html

Common Urological Billing Errors, Coding Challenges and Denials
Join Michael A. Ferragamo MD, FACS in this audio-conference on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, where he will point out common examples of inaccurate urology coding that have resulted in frequent "high take backs" by insurance carriers.

Topics covered in the session:

  • Review of common mistakes made in E/M coding and ways to avoid
  • correct use of CPT code 99214
  • Correct coding and diagnoses of skin lesion removals
  • How to bill for repeat procedures in office and hospital settings
  • Correct coding when using modifiers -25, -59, -62, -76
  • Avoiding laparoscopic and robotic coding errors
  • Proper coding for bladder biopsies vs. bladder resections

For more information, http://www.audioeducator.com/urology/urologicalcoding-billing-errors-04-15-14.html

AudioEducator brings the most compelling list of audio conferences on wide array of healthcare topics—medical coding, billing to CPT changes, E/M Modifiers to OIG work plan, Affordable Care Act to ERISA, RAC updates to fee schedule, Electronic Health Record system to ICD 10 transition, HIPAA and more. Get trained from the comfort of your home or office without spending a penny on travel. Pick a format of your choice for training— live conference/On Demand/ CD/ PDF transcripts and start learning.

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* SOURCE: The Center for Health Affairs

Media Contact: Adam K, Audio Educator, 1-866-458-2965, customerservice@audioeducator.com

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