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Author Archives: Chris Richards, RHIA, CCS

About Chris Richards, RHIA, CCS

Chris joined Barry Libman Inc. as a Senior Associate in 2014 after 27 years with Masspro, the Massachusetts Quality Improvement Organization (QIO). Chris’s areas of expertise include health information administration, case management, quality improvement, hospital payment oversight, and documentation education initiatives. He has a comprehensive understanding of the Federal Medicare program rules and regulations, as well as extensive experience ensuring that clinical coding and DRG assignment result in accurate provider reimbursement. A graduate of Hobart College, he received a postgraduate Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration from Northeastern University.
Specific Examples of Common Query Scenarios and Four Key Aspects of Documentation

Specific Examples of Common Query Scenarios and Four Key Aspects of Documentation

by Christopher G. Richards, RHIA, CCS, Senior Associate, Barry Libman, Inc.

Completeness simply refers to the problems that are created for the coder when specific pieces of documentation are missing from the medical record. This could include the missing test results. For example … Read more

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Format of a Physician Query, Developing the Statement at Issue, and the Importance of Hospital Policies and Procedures Related to the Physician Query Process

Format of a Physician Query, Developing the Statement at Issue, and the Importance of Hospital Policies and Procedures Related to the Physician Query Process

by Christopher G. Richards, RHIA, CCS, Senior Associate, Barry Libman, Inc.

All physician queries should be structured in a consistent manner. At a minimum, include: Read more

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Physician Query Basics and When to Query

Physician Query Basics and When to Query

by Christopher G. Richards, RHIA, CCS

What is a physician query?
Simply put, a physician query is a written communication tool that will allow coders to improve the accuracy of coding by actively involving the physician in the documentation clarification process. Full and complete documentation is the essential key to … Read more

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Documentation Precision and an Example of How a Good Physician Query is Developed

Documentation Precision and an Example of How a Good Physician Query is Developed

We talk about precision in the context of documentation of an unspecified diagnosis when clinical reports and clinical documentation is noted to suggest a more specific diagnosis. For coding purposes, there exists a need to request further specificity or the degree of severity of a …

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Documentation Consistency and an Example of How a Good Physician Query is Developed

Documentation Consistency and an Example of How a Good Physician Query is Developed

by Christopher G. Richards, RHIA, CCS

We talk about consistency with regards to either differing diagnoses between two or more providers or we might also be referring to documentation of clinical indicators, diagnostic tests, and treatment but no related “after study” condition documented. Read more

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Documentation Clarity and an Example of how a Good Physician Query is Developed

Documentation Clarity and an Example of how a Good Physician Query is Developed

by Christopher G. Richards, RHIA, CCS, Senior Associate, Barry Libman, Inc.

When we talk about clarity, we might be referring to an instance where a diagnosis is stated without documentation of cause or suspected cause or there is no clinical validation. We might need clarification of a potential cause and effect relationship that directly impacts how a coder … Read more

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Selected Topics from the 2015 OIG WORK PLAN: New Two-midnight Inpatient Admission Criteria

Selected Topics from the 2015 OIG WORK PLAN: New Two-midnight Inpatient Admission Criteria

  by Christopher Richards, RHIA, CCS This series of posts will highlight potential provider vulnerabilities with respect to the OIG 2015 work plan. Our sister company, Barry Libman Inc., is available to assist you with any areas where you feel you might have potential exposure. Certainly, everyone is in full agreement that a good compliance plan strives to identify concerns […]

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Selected Topics from the 2015 OIG WORK PLAN: Bone Marrow or Stem Cell Transplants

Selected Topics from the 2015 OIG WORK PLAN: Bone Marrow or Stem Cell Transplants

  by Christopher Richards, RHIA, CCS This series of posts will highlight potential provider vulnerabilities with respect to the OIG 2015 work plan. Our sister company, Barry Libman Inc., is available to assist you with any areas where you feel you might have potential exposure. Certainly, everyone is in full agreement that a good compliance plan strives to identify concerns […]

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Selected Topics from the 2015 OIG WORK PLAN: Payments for Patients Diagnosed with Kwashiorkor

Selected Topics from the 2015 OIG WORK PLAN: Payments for Patients Diagnosed with Kwashiorkor

by Christopher Richards, RHIA, CCS This series of posts will highlight potential provider vulnerabilities with respect to the OIG 2015 work plan. Our sister company, Barry Libman Inc., is available to assist you with any areas where you feel you might have potential exposure. Certainly, everyone is in full agreement that a good compliance plan strives to identify concerns before […]

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Selected Topics from the 2015 OIG Work Plan: Inpatient Claims for Mechanical Ventilation

Selected Topics from the 2015 OIG Work Plan: Inpatient Claims for Mechanical Ventilation

  by Christopher Richards, RHIA, CCS This series of posts will highlight potential provider vulnerabilities with respect to the OIG 2015 work plan. Our sister company, Barry Libman Inc., is available to assist you with any areas where you feel you might have potential exposure. Certainly, everyone is in full agreement that a good compliance plan strives to identify concerns […]

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