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The Standards Of Ethical Coding

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Coding is the medical field is regarded as being an important role in providing proper billing for healthcare services. Therefore, the level of responsibility for ethical coding practices is essential in maintaining the integrity of the healthcare organization that they work in. Coders are faced with challenges every day to maybe upcode, down code or assigned inappropriate classification system codes (Flite, 2013). According to the Dictionationary.com, a coder is, “a person who assigns numeric codes to represent diagnosis and procedures, describe patient treatment and delineates fees for health services based on an official classification system (www.dictionary.com).” The coder must adhere to the policies and procedures as outline in the…show more content…
Due to HIMs professional being certified through the same credentialing body as the coder, they may choose to emphasize many and/or all the ethical principles to help motivate their staff in doing the right thing even through difficult decisions. No one SEC principles is more valuable or sacred than the other however, principles 1 and 4 stand out the most no matter if you’re a coder, biller or HIMs. Principle 1 of the AHIMA Standards of Ethical Coding states that, “the coder must advocate, uphold, and defend the individual’s right to privacy and the doctrine of confidentiality in the use and disclosure of information (www.ahima.org). This standard is important is all who serve in the department confidentiality is important to maintaining positive relationships with the patient’s they serve. The HIMs must ensure that all confidentiality is being followed by the coder when getting request for protected health information and querying information for certain stakeholders. Principle 2 of the AHIMA Standards of Ethical Coding states that, “the coder must refuse to participate or conceal unethical practices or procedures and report such practices (www.ahima.org). HIMs must ensure that they set the example for their staff when it comes to ethical behavior. Often the direction of upcoding and down coding comes from a trusted superior in which the coder may be afraid to question their authority. HIMs professionals
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