June 26, 2009 | | Comments 6
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Chapter 3: The MS-DRG Training Handbook

We’re constantly talking about to get the word out about the importance of clinical documentation improvement. How can we teach physicians that the specific language they use in the medical record affects their patient’s treatment, their quality scoring, hospital reimbursement, and their own reimbursement too?

First to answer the triva questions wins a set!

First to answer the triva questions wins a set!

Some of you may be familiar with The MS-DRG Training Handbook written by ACDIS Advisory Board member Gloryanne Bryant, BS, RHIA, RHIT, CCS, but for those who haven’t seen it yet there’s a collection of examples for explaining the MS-DRG system to physicians in Chapter 3, I thought I’d share with you:

“1. Call upon physicians to better document the character, underlying causes, complications, and severity using ICD-9-CM language. For example, in order to get decompensated CHF to count as an MCC, physicians must clearly state that it is acute and must document whether it is systolic or diastolic heart failure. Stating one without the other will result only in a CC.

“2. Ask physicians to clearly document the underlying mechanisms of certain manifestations. For example, if a patient has hyperkalemia as the result of the drug spironolactone, the physician needs to document the state of hypoaldosteronism. Similarly, if a patient has delirium due to narcotics, the CDI specialist needs to query the physician regarding the extent or possibility of toxic encephalopathy. “

The Handbook includes a good amount of basic, easy-to-understand information regarding the development and importance of the MS-DRG system, which I’m sure I’ll excerpt from again. Not to be pushing product but it comes in packs of 10, which. . . when we’re talking about educating physicians. . . can be a quick item for CDI specialists to hand out.

Educating physicians and others  about how the implementation of MS-DRGs increased the need for CDI is particularly important during a new CDI program’s inception. That’s when the only thing physicians want to know is: Who are you? Why are you doing this? What’s in it for me? Understanding MS-DRG basics can help them see the bigger picture behind the healthcare reimbursement system.

So here’s some trivia. First person to answer BOTH questions correctly will get a pack of the Handbooks.

  1. When did the MS-DRG system take affect?
  2. What three basic categories of the system?

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Filed Under: Coding


Melissa Varnavas About the Author: Melissa Varnavas, is the Associate Director of the Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists (ACDIS). ACDIS is a community in which CDI professionals share the latest tested tips, tools, and strategies to implement successful CDI programs and achieve professional growth. With more than 5,000 members, its mission is to bring CDI specialists together. To learn more about ACDIS, go to www.acdis.org or call HCPro customer service at 800-650-6787.

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  1. 1 — 1 Oct 2007
    2 — No cc/mcc; with cc; with mcc

    Second question couldn’t be certain, have at least one other possibility in mind….

    How many pages is it? Is it lab-coat sized?


  2. You got it Don! Yup, it can fit in the pocket.

  3. The alternative I was thinking of was for ‘Med’, ‘Surg’ or ‘Pre’ DRGs…..

  4. May I know how much the MS-DRG Training Handbook cost? I am interested to have one.


  6. 1. October 2007
    2. Major Diagnostic Categories
    Surgical DRGs
    Medical DRGs

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