Stay alert for these coding issues often discovered by RACs

It is the job of recovery audit contractors to figure out what is forcing a business or facility from operating at peak efficiency. There are myriad problems that locations face, but Elizabeth Lamkin of Pace Healthcare Consulting identified three sourcing issues that often plague medical centers.

According to Lamkin, coding individuals who have short stays or overnight stays in a facility lead to the most errors. Lamkin cites the complexity in the differences between one-night stays and outpatient care that typically create gaps in record keeping.

"Getting the patients' bed status right from the start will save a lot of money," Lamkin wrote for Becker's Hospital Review. "A bed status error can be avoided from the get-go by properly screening on admission."

Confusion in billing for outpatient therapy is also a common source of investigation for RACs. Lamkin recommends searching for billing patterns or clerical information within outpatient therapy, which are often extra space billed twice unnecessarily.

Lastly, errors in discharge status are another common mistake often targeted by RACs. Incorrect coding upon discharging patients can result in improper payments and snowball into gaps in oversight. By ensuring proper discharge codes are used, in addition to the aforementioned management, medical centers can simplify the recovery audit process.

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