Reimbursement/Coding Ad Hoc Committee
The Reimbursement and Coding Committee is currently composed of several acute care surgeons who have an interest in professional and facility reimbursement processes. The Committee was established by AAST Past President Grace Rozycki, and its stated purpose is “to help streamline the use of numerous codes within billing in order to maximize the reimbursement for Trauma and Acute Care Surgery procedures.”
During its first year, the Committee developed and conducted a survey of the membership regarding their training, knowledge, experience, and educational needs regarding professional coding and reimbursement. The Committee categorized and consolidated the 225 items produced from the survey into 90 educational topics that need to be covered. We then and grouped those topics into the following categories:
- The Global Period
- Critical Care
- Evaluation & Management (E&M)
- Advanced Practice Providers
- Specific Coding Issues
We are currently in the process of writing the educational materials relevant to the various topics identified in the surveys. An outline of the above coding and reimbursement material is also being developed, and should be available online in the near future. The Committee anticipates, and intends, that much of the material will be available on the AAST website so that members will be able to use it as they identify a need.
At the request of the Board of Managers, and in collaboration with the AAST Acute Care Surgery Committee, an additional set of modules, relevant to coding and billing concepts and issues, is being developed for our fellowship trainees. These, too, should be available on the website along with the other clinical ACS modules.
As the Coding and Reimbursement Committee develops this educational material, it will continue to seek input from members of the committee to increase the amount of information available regarding coding, billing, and reimbursement.
Given the increasing affiliation between acute care surgeons and their hospitals, our future efforts will focus on beginning to explain documentation requirements, quality metric reporting, and facility reimbursement. In addition, AAST members who have been challenged on their optimal coding for a complex case scenario should submit the experience to the Committee for review and analysis. We wish for this dialogue to be similar to the already popular Coders’ Corner articles found in the AAST’s bimonthly Cutting Edge newsletter. Any and all ideas on how the Committee can best serve the AAST membership are welcome.