One of the things that you will need to learn with the medical billing field, is a new language. Seriously. And part of that new language means acronyms (the first letter of a string of words). There are many identifiers for different reference materials, and claims issues, and unfortunately many of them sound the same, or very similar. You need to pay strict attention when someone is referring to one of these to make sure you understand completely what they are asking you.
Just a few examples are:
ICD - International Classification of Diseases. It is the manual produced yearly that contains all of the billing codes for diagnoses.
NCD - National Coverage Determination. This is a policy that is put out by Medicare to determine which services are covered and which are not. It has a list of corresponding procedures and diagnoses to tell you when services are covered and when they are not. In other words, a procedure will be payable if the patient has one diagnosis, but not another.
LCD - Local Coverage Determination. This is the same thing as an NCD, but on a local level. Medicare, Medi-Cal, and Medi-Caid all contract with other local entities to process their claims for them. Each local entity has their own LCD's for their specific geographic region.
DCN - Document Control Number. When each claim is submitted to an insurer for payment, it is assigned a unique number for tracking. That number stays with the claim until completion (either payment or denial).
So you see, it is important to understand the acronyms and their meanings to keep the correct information flowing. More on this later.
Until next time:
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Reach me on Twitter @LorettaLea
Author, Medical Billing, Coding, and Reimbursement
A medical billing professional for over 30 years now, I have seen a lot of changes in this field, and there are a lot more on the horizon. Follow me as we see what they mean and for who.