HAC Coding – Here’s What Practitioners and Coders Should Know

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For those in the medical field, HAC coding is key. It shapes how much money hospitals get back. If a sickness starts in the hospital and it’s not that bad, this can change things. Good ICD-10 code work makes sure hospitals do their job well on paper, too.

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Accurate HAC coding is vital for patient care quality. It ensures that those who get sick in hospitals receive the right attention quickly. As Brundage Group experts suggest, integrating such precision in medical billing and coding is part of sustainable improvement strategies for healthcare facilities.

Financial Implications for Hospitals

Hospitals face serious financial risks due to Hospital-Acquired Conditions (HACs). These conditions not only increase the length of a patient’s stay but also add significant costs. In 2016, nearly 49,000 HAC instances were linked to over 3,200 avoidable deaths and extended hospital stays by an average of eight days. The added expense for treating these conditions amounted to almost $42,000 per case beyond standard care costs.

As part of the value-based purchasing approach aimed at improving healthcare quality while reducing expenditure, hospitals performing in the lowest quartile had their Medicare payments reduced. This affected 769 facilities in FY 2017 alone. This underscores how critical effective management and team collaboration are within hospitals to navigate financial penalties under such programs successfully.

HACs Eligible for the Reduction Program

In the realm of hospital care, Hospital-Acquired Conditions (HACs) carry significant weight. Initially set by Medicare and Medicaid Services under 2005’s Deficit Reduction Act, HACs aimed to marry payment with quality of healthcare delivery.

First introduced in fiscal year 2009 after implementing a system to distinguish existing conditions from those acquired in-hospital, HAC categories have since stabilized at fourteen.

Notably, any identified HAC on a patient claim negates extra payment for that condition unless other major or minor complications coexist on the same claim, shifting financial implications considerably under these new rules.

Strategies for Minimizing the Risk of HACs

To cut down on hospital-acquired conditions (HACs), hospital teams should focus on strict hygiene practices. This means washing hands often and using gloves properly. They must also follow safety steps in surgeries to prevent infections at the site of operations.

Regular training sessions for staff can help keep everyone up-to-date on the best ways to avoid these issues. Technology plays a big role, too. Advanced software helps track patient health data accurately, catching potential HACs early before they become bigger problems.

The Brundage Group makes it clear: knowing about HAC coding is key for both doctors and coders. This knowledge helps avoid mistakes, leading to better care and the right billing. With a focus on details, the team can catch issues early, making sure patients are safe, and services get the correct pay.