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Use of Technology to Document Comorbid Conditions May Improve Reimbursement, Increase Documentation Accuracy Study Confirms
Date:10/10/2007

MOBILE, Ala., Oct. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Major financial implications are at stake if healthcare facilities and physicians do not accurately record the health conditions of patients that are present on admission (POA), according to new regulations by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS is adjusting the logic for Diagnosis Related Group (DRG) assignment, including new methods for identifying patients who are severely ill (that is, have comorbid illnesses) and consequently warrant higher hospital reimbursement. To quality for this level of reimbursement, these secondary medical conditions must be identified and described in detail on the medical chart.

Recently-published research in the September 2007 Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management showed that concurrent coding utilizing electronic medical record technology can significantly increase the identification and documentation of these comorbid illnesses, which in turn increases the severity of illness and risk of mortality indexes used for reimbursement. The research, titled "Effect of Concurrent Computerized Documentation of Comorbid Conditions on the Risk of Mortality Index", partially relied on coding technology from DocuSys, Inc., a leading anesthesia information management system (AIMS) and medication management system provider.

"The technology provided by DocuSys provides a detailed view of comorbid conditions currently not available with common paper documentation in use by most anesthesia clinicians," said Dr. Jerry Stonemetz, Clinical Associate and Compliance Officer, Anesthesia & Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins University. "This detail could significantly affect the data captured by most hospitals, resulting in improved reporting and documentation of comorbid conditions required by CMS and other organizations for reimbursement."

Documentation of comorbid conditions is a primary element of the DocuSys coding module, which is an embedded component of t
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SOURCE DocuSys
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