tci Outpatient Facility Coding Alert - 2012 Issue 7

Reader Question: Avoid "Rule Outs" in Outpatient Settings

<strong>Question:</strong> <em>A new co-worker is having trouble understanding why “rule out" diagnoses don't apply to our patients. How should we explain it to her?</em> <br /> Virginia Subscriber <br /><br /> <strong>Answer:</strong> The starting point is that ICD-9 coding guidelines state you should not report "rule out" diagnoses in an outpatient setting. You'll avoid labeling the patient with an unconfirmed diagnosis, but will allow the physician to be paid for his services even if he can't establish a definitive diagnosis. Notes such as "rule...

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