Thursday, July 2, 2020

Reducing the Burden of Clinical Documentation


What are the CMS documentation guidelines for who may elicit and document the patient’s history, including ROS, HPI and PFSH? Is it acceptable for my medical assistant to document the ROS, HPI and PFSH if I review the information?


Yes, as of 1/1/2019, CMS has modified previous rules relative to history discussion and documentation. As per CMS MLN11063, effective on 1/1/2019:

“For established patient office/outpatient visits, when relevant information is already contained in the medical record, practitioners may choose to focus their documentation on what has changed since the last visit, or on pertinent items that have not changed and need not re-record the defined list of required elements if there is evidence that the practitioner reviewed the previous information and updated it as needed. Practitioners should still review prior data, update as necessary and indicate in the medical record that they have done so.

CMS is clarifying that for E/M office/outpatient visits, for new and established patients for visits, practitioners need not re-enter in the medical record information on the patient’s chief complaint and history that has already been entered by ancillary staff or the beneficiary. The practitioner may simply indicate in the medical record that he or she reviewed and verified this information.” 

The physician must still personally perform the physical exam and medical decision-making activities

Work Smarter, Not harder...

The single most common complaint when educating physicians on proper documentation for HCCs is the amount of time it takes to document a complete ROS and HPI. Up-training medical assistants and nurses to take and document the history components can significantly reduce the time physicians spend documenting and increase the time they spend taking care of patients. 

Visit ERM365 to learn more. 

Diabetes and Hypercoagulability


Can a diagnosis of  secondary hypercoagulable state, (D68.69) be assigned for an uncontrolled diabetic patient who is treated with 81 mg ASA QD?


Yes, as long as the documentation links the diabetes to the hypercoagulable state.

The coagulability of the blood is crucially important in ischemic cardiovascular events because the majority of MI and stroke events are caused by the rupture of atherosclerotic plaque and the resulting occlusion of a major artery by a blood clot (thrombus).

Up to 80% of patients with diabetes die a thrombotic death. Seventy-five percent of these deaths are the result of an MI, and the remainder are the result of cerebrovascular events and complications related to PVD.

The first defense against a thrombotic event is the vascular endothelium. Diabetes contributes to widespread endothelial dysfunction. The endothelium and the components of the blood are intricately linked, such that clotting signals initiated in the endothelial cell can activate platelets and other blood components, and vice versa.

Patients with diabetes exhibit enhanced activation of platelets and clotting factors in the blood. Increased circulating platelet aggregates, increased platelet aggregation in response to platelet agonists, and the presence of higher plasma levels of platelet coagulation products, such as beta-thromboglobulin, platelet factor 4, and thromboxane B2, demonstrate platelet hyperactivity in diabetes. Coagulation activation markers, such as prothrombin activation fragment 1+2 and thrombin–anti-thrombin complexes, are also elevated in diabetes. In addition, patients with diabetes have elevated levels of many clotting factors including fibrinogen, factor VII, factor VIII, factor XI, factor XII, kallikrein, and von Willebrand factor.

Conversely, anticoagulant mechanisms are diminished in diabetes. The fibrinolytic system, the primary means of removing clots, is relatively inhibited in diabetes because of abnormal clot structures that are more resistant to degradation, and also because of an increase in PAI-1.47

Clinicians attempt to reverse this hypercoagulable state with aspirin therapy, widely recommended for use as primary prevention against thrombotic events in patients with diabetes. However, numerous studies have suggested that aspirin in recommended doses does not adequately inhibit platelet activity in patients with diabetes.

Visit ERM365 to learn more