Don’t even crack your codebook unless you’ve done the following three things:
Number 1 - Make sure that your ICD-9 codes book is from the current billing year. New codes are issued on October 1st of every year. Make that your Medical Billing New Years and put up the previous year's code book to ensure that you don't make a mistake and code from the incorrect set of codes.
Number 2 - State by reviewing the diagnostic statements and make yourself a side list choosing the conditions you need to code in order to make sure you don't miss anything when you're choosing the proper ICD-9 codes.
Number 3 - On your list that you put together, make a note of the severity of each diagnosis being treated. The first coded condition should be the most severe or root cause for the visit - this is your primary diagnosis and basis for your medical billing claim.
Use these three steps to ensure that your medical billing flows and is easy for the carrier to follow your claims. Doing so will help the practice that you code for realize better reimbursements and fewer denials or partial reimbursements. You can further make your medical billing ironclad by making sure that your documentation submitted with the medical billing backs up your claim.