Archive for November, 2014

November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thanksgiving is upon us, and there is no time more fitting to say thank you—for your trust, for your time, and for the opportunity to work with you on your journey.

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with fun and laughter and that you are surrounded by the people you hold dear.

As you celebrate, here are a few fun facts you can share about this holiday:
• In the U.S., about 280 million turkeys are sold for Thanksgiving celebrations.
• The average weight of a turkey purchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds.
• Gobble, gobble? Only male turkeys gobble. Females cackle.
• Mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies, corn on the cob, and cranberries were not foods present on the first Thanksgiving table.
• Thanksgiving was not declared a national holiday until 1941.

Warmest wishes this holiday season and a Very Happy 2015.

November 6, 2014

Question: We’ve been getting ADRs from our MAC on terminal illness of 263.9, Unspecified protein malnutrition. Is it just because it’s an Unspecified code?

Answer:  Folks have been automatically switching from AFTT or debility to malnutrition so you can expect MACs to begin looking at Unspecified protein malnutrition.  Malnutrition is usually associated with both debility and AFTT so the patient probably actually has it, however you need to see it from the payer’s point of view–if this patient is expected to die within 6 months, wouldnt you expect more than unspecified malnutrition?  Hospices need to concentrate on getting more and better info from the physician to specify the malnutrition and don’t forget your secondary diagnoses to paint the better picture of the patient. Also determine if another diagnosis should be primary.

Hospices are beginning to see those RTPs on dementia diagnoses as well. As of October 1, Unspecified dementia,  as well as senile, presenile,  and vascular dementia will not be accepted as primary diagnoses on hospice claims.

If you need assistance with learning how to code or if you just want expert coders to do it for you, contact us at 940-383-2130.

Register for our live webinar “Key Hospice Coding Concepts to Avoid Payment Denial” on November 19. Registration link:

Lisa Selman-Holman, JD, BSN, RN, HCS-O, HCS-D
Selman-Holman & Associates,LLC
CoDR–Coding Done Right
CodePro University