Colorado hospitals recognized for coding accuracy

Filed under: Health Care |

Four Colorado hospitals are among the top 200 nationwide for best coding practices for Medicare patients.
The University of Colorado Hospital, Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital, Platte Valley Medical Center and Porter Adventist Hospital were included in a report by Ingenix that ranked hospitals by the completeness and accuracy of their medical coding practices used to bill Medicare for inpatient medical services.
Ingenix used its software to analyze the 2006 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review file. A total of 2,921 hospitals were included in the analysis, based on the populations served in different types of hospitals.
The report coincides with hospitals’ implementation of the Medicare Severity Diagnosis-Related Groups from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The system calculates reimbursement based on the severity of a patient’s condition. Under the new system, hospitals must track and report quality indicators, and adapt to Medicare’s new policy that disallows payment for specific hospital-acquired conditions.

Arthritis limits productivity

Arthritis limits the productivity, activity and ability to work for millions of Americans, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The percentage of arthritis-related work limitations ranged from 25 percent in Nevada to 51 percent in Kentucky. The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, which includes Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, reported that Colorado’s rate is 28 percent.
Another CDC study shows that state-specific earning losses attributable to arthritis ranged from $78 million to $4.3 billion. The total impact of arthritis on the U.S. economy was $128 billion.
A previously released CDC report also showed that unemployment is higher among people with arthritis. The CDC anticipates the number of people with arthritis will significantly increase during the next few years, resulting in a loss of human resources and a greater economic impact across the country.
“Arthritis is the nation’s most common cause of disability and limits activity for 19 million adults with the disease,” said Pat Gottfried, Rocky Mountain Chapter president. “With the projected increase of arthritis prevalence and growing number of Americans facing work-related challenges because of the disease, the Arthritis Foundation is increasing its commitment to improving lives of the 1.3 million people with arthritis in the Rocky Mountain region.”
The Arthritis Foundation provides free copies of its “Arthritis in the Workplace” brochure, which includes tips for managing arthritis on the job. The brochure is available by calling (800) 283-7800 or visiting

St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center diabetes seminar

St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center is hosting its sixth annual diabetes seminar from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Pueblo Convention Center.
Medical staff from the St. Mary-Corwin will be on hand to provide counseling about diabetes.
The event is open to the public and includes free health screenings, guest speakers, informational booths, cooking and fitness demonstrations, a keynote address from local endocrinologist Raphael Francisco and mini-breakout sessions about fitness, nutrition and available community resources.
The screenings begin at 7:30 a.m. and include blood pressure, non-dilated eye exams, dental, cholesterol, depression, urine protein and hemoglobin tests. Screening participants are asked to fast the evening prior to ensure accurate results and must be registered in advance.
For more information, or to register for the screenings, call (719) 557-HELP.

Kaiser launches video game to fight obesity

Kaiser Permanente has created a free, online video game that teaches children to eat healthier foods, become more active and manage their television and computer time.
The game features the Amazing Food Detective, a character that takes children through activities to show how to choose healthy foods. Players follow the routines of eight children whose activities or conditions would benefit from healthy food and exercise choices. The game, aimed at children ages 9-10, is available at .
The rate of childhood obesity in the United States has tripled during the last 15 years. About 9 million children in the United States are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Research shows that 7 million will grow up to be overweight or obese adults.
Amy Gillentine covers health care for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.