Q #20: Is it appropriate to use V79.8 OR V20.2 for MCHAT diagnosis code when a screening questionnaire is given to the parent to complete for an 18-month old. A. M-CHAT stands for Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddler. An example can be found at http://neonatology.stanford.edu/developmental/docs/mchat.pdf (or do a Google search on M-CHAT). Here are some related codes, but which code(s) is correct?
- V79.8 – Special screening for mental disorders and developmental handicaps: other specific mental disorders and developmental handicaps.
- V79.3 – Special screening for mental disorders and developmental handicaps: developmental handicaps in early childhood.
- V20.2 – (Excludes 79.3) – Routine infant or child health check. This code lists Developmental testing of infant or child. It can be used as a PDx, primary diagnosis.
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Alicia: First, what is this visit is for? If they suspect autism and are going to have a specific visit for this then there is nothing routine about it so V20.2 would go out the window. I believe that V79.3 is the best choice for a specific visit to confirm or dx Autism. However, the payer may not pay for M-CHAT. We got a comment here, from Amanda which said, “No one pays for MCHAT anymore, anyway.
Q #21: I would love a webinar on modifiers. I have always had difficulty with those. I know the company I am working for now seems to use modifier 59 a lot…
A: That was one of the very, very first public talks I did was on modifiers and that was for the AAPC and their first biggest one – and to make a long story short – it was in front of 800 people. The name of it is “Modifiers – It’s All About the Money!” We have that in our CEU class area, so check that out. It comes with a really nice modifier grid which you can actually get online for free on that freebies area that we were showing you about.
Q #22: For those of us who have forgotten much of what we learned in billing and medical coding courses, and are now taking the Blitz for prep of CCA exam, what other sources would you recommend to help us refresh our memories?
A: And this kind of ties up with another question about getting the study guides. I really teach a three-step plan, if you will. Number one: Take a good medical coding course. If you already have been doing coding, you’ve already taken the course; then check that off. Number two: Get the Review Blitz or some review class, but the Review Blitz goes over our bubbling and highlighting technique and basically you get all this great notes to add to your book. Now, the notes are not cheat notes, they really are notes from the guidelines that are like a few pages ahead; but it’s put in strategic locations in your manuals. So when you’re taking that multiple choice exam or even doing real world coding, it jumps right out at you.
Then, this is the third step, very key: Keep timed practice exams. Don’t download a practice exam and just do it like homework. Do it – set the kitchen timer, I got two hours. I’m going to do 50 to 60 questions, go! And use the sample Scantron form from the AAPC. We have that available in our practice exam packages, so that you’re actually doing bubbling and doing the timing technique that we teach in our Blitz, in our other medical coding courses. Aim to get an 85%. You only need a 70% to pass the real exam, but if you get an 85% on the practiced one you will be in really good shape for the real one. And do as many as you need to hit that 85%.
We’ve got a free one, there’s one bundled into our Blitz program, then we’ve got three paid ones and AAPC has three paid ones. Then beyond that we’ve got 150 questions in one sitting, we’ve got three of them on our site that were created by other third parties; so there’re tons of practice exams out there, very reasonably priced. Those are three steps: full course, Blitz, and practice, practice, practice.