Archives / 2012 / December
  • New facility coding software helps hospital outpatient services nursing, clerical, and coding staff to determine appropriate IV services and apply proper codes.

    Bellevue, WA—(Dec. 5, 2012)—1stHealthSystems, provider of data-driven technology and analytics for hospital outpatient services coding, today announced the launch of StealthIV, a new product that automates coding for IV services. Patents for StealthIV are pending.

    The process of manually coding for IV services can be very involved, especially in navigating through the Current Procedural Terminology’s (CPT®) complex rules. 1stHealthSystems developed StealthIV to automate this process and thereby improve the efficiency and accuracy of coding.

    “1stHealthSystems developed the automated approach to IV services coding to provide a simple process for clerical, or clinical, staff to accurately assign CPT codes and units of time for complex IV coding services.  Our clients identified accurate IV coding as one of their biggest challenges because of the complexity of the rules,” said Mason A. Smith, MD, Founder and CEO of 1stHealthSystems.  “Audits have revealed numerous errors involving both under-reporting of some services and over-reporting of others.  Our solution uses a unique rules engine to validate the services actually provided and automatically account for overlapping services, minimum duration between services, units of add-on services and all the other rules associated with coding IV services.”

    StealthIV’s user-friendly interface makes it easy for hospital staff members to determine service codes. Upon inputting services and their start-stop times, 1stHealthSystems’ powerful algorithm selects the appropriate codes to ensure proper charging. Duration times are instantly calculated and checked against the CPT definitions.

    StealthIV also identifies concurrent IV infusions and assigns the appropriate add-on hours for chemotherapy infusions, IV medication infusions, and IV hydrations. These otherwise complicated calculations are automated and instantly translated into service codes.

    1stHealthSystems has designed StealthIV to be rapidly implemented at the point-of-service by nursing or clerical staff, or within the Health Information Management Department by coding staff. StealthIV allows hospital staff members to quickly see results and improvements in their workflow, without a steep learning curve.

    About 1stHealthSystems

    1stHealthSystems designs, develops, implements, and supports facility coding software for hospital outpatient services. Our software is used in hospital emergency departments and health information management departments across the country.

    CONTACT: Jack Berkery, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, 1stHealthSystems, (480) 307-8631

    To learn more about CPT Coding Software, visit

  • A patient’s presenting problem is an integral consideration to proper selection of the Emergency Department Visit Level and maintaining accurate coding principles.  The presenting problem is a window into the diagnostic complexity of an Emergency Department visit. It is also the intent of CPT©.

    While there are always exceptions, the average patient presenting for evaluation and treatment of a sprained ankle will require less hospital resources than a patient who presents with chest pain and could represent an acute heart attack.  The facility resources that typically go into those two problems are starkly different. The nature of the presenting problem at Triage is the foundation on which immediate diagnostic testing, intensity of bedside nursing services and therapeutic interventions are carried out. Nature of the Presenting problem, or the reason for seeking emergency medical evaluation should be considered as an essential component of a hospital’s coding principles.

    The ability to track the presenting problem of all patients who visit the hospital allows for the accurate financial projection of monthly or yearly reimbursements and costs.  It also allows for administrators to identify discrepancies between doctors or between coders.  Quality of care and accurate billing are crucial differentiators for today’s hospital.  Administration should be confident that all patients are receiving the appropriate workup and accurate charges.  The presenting problem is the key data element that allows administrators to compare performance of physicians, clinical support staff and coding staff.  Without consideration of the presenting problem these comparisons become difficult at best and inaccurate at worst.

    1stHealthSystems’ StealthED codifies the potential presenting problems in a list of approximately eighty clinical groups.  To evaluate the diagnostic, therapeutic and outcome of patients, StealthED groups patients into similar clinical groups based on the structured list of presenting problems.  With this structured grouping of patients, the clinical and financial process can be compared and evaluated.  Evaluation and Treatment of ankle sprains should include a diagnostic imaging and application of splints at a predictable rate.  By comparing the diagnostic and therapeutic interventions by provider (physician) for the same clinical problem, variances in treatment patterns are easily detected.

    The patient’s presenting problem is the key data element to group similar patients for outcome analysis.   Incorporating a structured presenting problem into the performance analysis is the essential key of this proven and data-driven proprietary coding algorithm.

    by Mason A. Smith, MD