AHA Coding Clinic® Reference Notations


INTRODUCTION TO AHA CODING CLINIC® REFERENCE NOTATIONS

BACKGROUND
“AHA Coding Clinic® is a registered trademark of the American Hospital Association for its coding products. AHA Coding Clinic® Reference Notations is not a product of the American Hospital Association, and Channel Publishing, Ltd. is not affiliated with or endorsed by the American Hospital Association. The American Hospital Association coding website can be accessed at www.ahacentraloffice.org.”

The AHA Coding Clinic® for ICD-9-CM is published quarterly by the American Hospital Association. The Coding Clinic is the official publication endorsed by CMS for ICD-9-CM coding guidelines and advice. The Coding Clinic provides specific information and guidelines that are helpful for determining proper coding, and is used by CMS in reviewing claims. The purpose of Coding Clinic is to promote accuracy and consistency in the use of ICD-9-CM. It offers coding guidelines and advice based on adherence to the statistical classification scheme of ICD-9-CM and the definitions specified in the Uniform Hospital Discharge Data Set (UHDDS) and the UB-82 uniform billing system for hospitals. All guidelines and supporting information published in Coding Clinic are approved by the National Center for Health Statistics, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the American Health Information Management Association, and the American Hospital Association.

INTRODUCTION
Channel Publishing has developed the AHA Coding Clinic® reference notations to help coders access the official coding advice found throughout all issues of the Coding Clinic. This information has been referenced in two ways: 1) direct code by code reference notations, 2) a categorical index of articles that are too broad in scope to be assigned to a particular code. The Coding Clinic reference notations have been assigned, and reviewed, by an advisory committee that is comprised solely of medical record coders. This committee has the final placement approval of the reference notations, including additions, deletions, and revisions. Any comments regarding these reference notations should be directed to: Channel Publishing Coding Clinic Reference Advisory Committee, c/o Channel Publishing, LTD., P.O. Box 70723, Reno, Nevada 89570.

GUIDANCE IN USE
Coders are encouraged to reference all relevant information contained in the Coding Clinic to promote the most accurate coding possible for their organization. It is important to understand the basic criteria for assigning the Coding Clinic reference notations. The basic criteria consists of: assignment to codes with direct or indirect information concerning the proper use of each particular code, assignment to a 3- or 4-digit code category when the information is relevant to all codes in that category, and assignment to codes where a coder might commonly attempt to use a code in error. In referencing information, coders need not spend extra time looking up commonly understood or very detailed case-specific references; therefore, it is suggested that coders:

A. Write into their code books a brief description of a particular reference notation that will provide the necessary information without referencing the Coding Clinic each time they use that code.

B. Use the grading system below for each notation following a coder’s initial reference in the Coding Clinic:

(1) Review always or frequently
(2) Review occasionally
(3) Commonly understood; or information handwritten into code book.


*”AHA Coding Clinic® is a registered trademark of the American Hospital Association for its coding products. AHA Coding Clinic Reference Notations is not a product of the American Hospital Association, and Channel Publishing, Ltd. is not affiliated with or endorsed by the American Hospital  Association. The American Hospital Association coding website can be accessed at www.ahacentraloffice.org.”