Coding Suggestions

(Extracted from a presentation organized by the SSO Coding & Reimbursements Committee at a recent SSO Annual Cancer Symposium)

  • Avoid frustration through education.
  • Review your common procedures and operative notes with a coding professional.
  • Never sign without reviewing and understanding.
  • Build in safeguards.
  • List highest dollar codes first.
  • Order of OR documentation.
  • Review CPT manual.
  • Code your cases; No one will take the interest that you have and it will help you understand what is necessary to dictate for reimbursement.
  • Carefully evaluate the new DRGs and evaluate how you are doing and where you can improve, your institution will welcome your involvement and you will gain resources by approaching this issue.
  • Leverage your core competencies.
  • Perform those services that differentiate your practice.
  • Capture the many charges along the revenue stream to fully realize a total return on your investment of care.
  • The surgical oncologist can differentiate these competencies and provide care, and still survive in this current cost-constrained climate.
  • In a perfect world, billing practices would be the same regardless of the insurance company, but it is not a perfect world.

*Accurate coding is the responsibility of the provider and this summary is only meant as a guide, not an irrefutable answer to all coding concerns. SSO Members are encouraged to contribute their insights on the Coding Discussion Board.