New Year, New Codes, New Rules and Regulations- Free Sources for Coding Compliantly

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By: Lorna Simons, CPC
Medco Consultants, Inc

New Year, New codes, New rules and regulations. But not to worry there are resources available that can help you code and bill compliantly for free. 

We all like free. But how do you find free credible resources online? There are a lot of places that offer coding information and forums that offer coding advice but how do you know if this will apply to you and your state? How do you know if the source is accurate and compliant? The best places to look for coding advice are from the code sets themselves or through governmental agencies.    

The government through CMS.gov and the websites of Local Medicare Administrative Contractors or MACs offer a lot of free information that can be used along side of the medical coding manuals to help healthcare professionals stay up to date with rules, regulations and compliance.

If you don’t know your local MAC, don’t worry, CMS has a jurisdiction map on their “Who are the MACs” page that will let you know which contractor is servicing your region. Your MAC will have tips, alerts and updates, news, local coverage determinations, local coverage articles and even a fee schedule look tool that you can use.  The MACs are National Government Services, Novitas, Palmetto GBA, Cahaba, FCSO, WPS, CGS and Noridian. 

For resources at the national level go to CMS.gov .

The Medicare tab has the contractor information and under “Coding” you can find information about the code sets, ICD-10, and National Correct Coding Initiative Edits. 

The Innovation Center is currently playing and integral role in implementing the Quality Payment Program. You can find different innovations happening in your state or if you are working remotely you will have access to the innovations that you or your client needs in the area they are located. The Innovation Center is also where you will find Webinars and Forum and Data and reports. These will keep you up to date and educated on the newest trends in healthcare.
“Regulation and Guidance” on CMS.gov has the Internet Only Manuals (IOMs), transmittals for coding correctly and documentation requirements, administrative simplification, regulations and policies and more. These will keep you up to date with compliance concerns.

Finally, the “Outreach and Education” tab offers many different tools that can be used as well as education.  CMS offers podcast, webinars and calls. You can also view the Medicare Learning Network® (MLN) where you can access training materials and even get continuing education credits.  These credits include both Continuing Education Units (CEUS) for individuals credentialed in Health Information Management like coders and Continuing Medical Education healthcare providers.