A New 4-Year-Old Patient with Fever and Sore Throat After a COVID Exposure

A New 4-Year-Old Patient with Fever and Sore Throat After a COVID Exposure

Bradley L. Laymon, PA-C, CPC, CEMC PRESENTATION A mother brings in her 4-year-old, who has never visited your urgent care center before, with complaints of fever and sore throat. The mother provides the HPI. She explains that the child’s symptoms have been present for 2 days. During that time, the patient’s temperature rose to a high of 101.5°F (38.6°C). Ibuprofen has been effective in reducing the fever. The girl was exposed to COVID-19 at daycare …

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Hospitals Wave Red Flags as UnitedHealthcare ED Policy Takes Effect

Hospitals Wave Red Flags as UnitedHealthcare ED Policy Takes Effect

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) just launched a new protocol for evaluating emergency room claims that it says will encourage accurate coding by providers and ultimately bring down healthcare costs. Some hospitals view it as just another way to deny claims, however—and one that could actually end up costing patients more money, at that. Under the policy that took effect on March 1, UHC reviews and maintains the right to adjust or deny claims for ED visits coded …

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New Flu Vaccine Codes—and an Update on Proposed Changes to the E/M Guidelines

Q: Do you have information on the 2017-2018 influenza vaccine codes? A: The American Medical Association (AMA) recently published a list of new and revised vaccine codes on their website (https://www.ama-assn.org/sites/default/files/media-browser/public/cpt/vaccine-long-desc-july-2017.pdf). These codes will be published in the 2018 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) manual. The two new influenza vaccines on the list are: 90682, “Influenza virus vaccine, quadrivalent (RIV4), derived from recombinant DNA, hemagglutinin (HA) protein only, preservative and antibiotic free, for intramuscular use” 90756, …

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Maximize Revenue for Nebulizer Treatments

Q: What can we bill for when we give a patient a nebulizer treatment for an acute airway obstruction during an exacerbation of asthma, or wheezing due to an upper respiratory ailment? A: You can bill for the service and the medication. However, depending on the payer rules, the medication might be bundled into the service. Time is a factor when billing the service. If the treatment is less than 1 hour, you would bill …

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2018 ICD-10-CM: A Preview of Urgent Care-Relevant Changes

2018 ICD-10-CM: A Preview of Urgent Care-Relevant Changes

It’s again time to review what has changed with the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) effective October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018. There are 360 new, 142 deleted, and 226 revised diagnosis codes in the final update. We will review the changes most relevant to urgent care, but the examples shown here are not all-inclusive. You can find all updates in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website …

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Optimizing Tax ID Numbers, and Coding for Health Risk Assessments

Q: We are planning to open a new clinic that will offer both primary care and urgent care services. Can we use the same tax identification number (TIN) when we start negotiating contracts with insurance payors? A: Based on our experience with doing this many times, if you attempt to use the same TIN for both primary care (PC) and urgent care (UC), you are likely to see the following results: Some payors are likely …

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Understand the Rules—and Code Correctly—When Charging a Facility Fee

Understand the Rules—and Code Correctly—When Charging a Facility Fee

Whether an urgent care can bill Place of Service -19 or -22 requires an understanding of the criteria enabling facility code sets. An urgent care joint venture between physicians and a hospital recently inquired about using Place of Service 22 (Outpatient Hospital), enabling facility fees. The key with billing the urgent care as “outpatient hospital” is that it must truly qualify for that service. I have reservations as to whether the urgent care could bill …

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Plantar Warts, Digital Nerve Block in Lacerations, and Established Patients

Q. We had a patient present with 12 plantar warts. The provider used liquid nitrogen to freeze all 12 of the warts. What code should I bill for this procedure? A. In this case, you would bill Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code 17110, “Destruction (e.g., laser surgery, electrosurgery, cryosurgery, chemosurgery, surgical curettement) of benign lesions other than skin tags or cutaneous vascular proliferative lesions; up to 14 lesions.” Use only code 17110 once because the …

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Fracture Care

Q. Will you please help me understand initial visit, subsequent visit, and sequelae related to fracture care? If the patient is treated elsewhere for a fracture and the provider just stabilizes the fracture and instructs the patient to then come to my office for reduction, is this a subsequent visit or an initial visit? A. International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision, ClinicalModification (ICD-10-CM) guidelines state that a seventh character, A, is used for the initial …

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