AHCC Announces Launch of the BMSC Home Care Coding Specialist—Hospice (HCS-H) Credential

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The Board of Medical Specialty Coding & Compliance launches its third home health professional credential, the NEW Home Care Coding Specialist—Hospice certification.

Association of Home Care Coding & Compliance

“Today, more than ever, it is imperative that hospice agencies have on staff a coding specialist with the unique knowledge and skills needed to ensure compliant hospice coding,” says Tricia A. Twombly, BSN RN HCS-D HCS-O HCS-H, COS-C, CHCE and CEO of BMSC

The Association of Home Care Coding & Compliance (AHCC) and its credentialing body, the Board of Medical Specialty Coding & Compliance (BMSC) launched BMSC’s third home health professional credential, the Home Care Coding Specialist—Hospice (HCS-H) certification.

The certification exam tests a candidate’s ability to apply knowledge of CMS coding regulations and guidelines related to the use of ICD-10-CM codes in the hospice setting, as well as their ability to properly select and sequence diagnosis codes.

On October 1, 2014, coding rules changed for hospice providers. No longer can hospice use as principal diagnosis the codes the most commonly selected for hospice patients, debility and adult failure to thrive, but must select codes specific to the terminal diagnosis. Hospice coders also now are required to assign all other relevant diagnoses. Further, as in all provider settings, hospice coding specialists are expected to code to the highest level of specificity. Failure to meet the new, more rigorous, coding guidelines will result in delayed or denied claims.

With the hot lights of regulatory scrutiny trained on hospice providers, correct code selection and sequencing has become a critical factor in ensuring that hospice providers are properly and compliantly reimbursed for end-of-life support provided.

“Today, more than ever before, it is imperative that hospice agencies have on staff a coding specialist with the unique knowledge and skills needed to ensure compliant hospice coding,” says Tricia A. Twombly, BSN RN HCS-D HCS-O HCS-H COS-C, CHCE, AHIMA approved ICD-10-CM certified trainer, ICE Certified Credentialing Specialist and CEO of BMSC and Senior Director with DecisionHealth. “Hiring coders who have earned the HCS-H credential will give administrators confidence that the agency is meeting the requirements of the law.”

The HCS-H credential joins the Home Care Coding Specialist—Diagnosis (HCS-D) and the Home Care Clinical Specialist—OASIS (HCS-O) as the gold-standard of professional certifications for home care coding and clinical specialists. BMSC has been credentialing home care professionals since 2003 with the launch of HCS-D, and HCS-O 2011, both nationally accredited by the National Commission on Credentialing Agencies (NCCA).

For more information about BMSC credentials, visit: http://www.ahcc.decisionhealth.com

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About AHCC and BMSC

AHCC is the community for professionals dedicated to providing quality care in post-acute care settings and establishing, meeting, and maintaining standards of excellence in their area of expertise.

AHCC’s credentialing arm, the Board of Medical Specialty Coding & Compliance (BMSC), offers professional credentials, including the only nationally accredited home health coding credential that tests coding skills exclusively, the Home Care Coding Specialist—Diagnosis (HCS-D), and the nationally accredited Home Care Clinical Specialist – OASIS (HCS-O). (See accompany list of board members)

BMSC has been credentialing home health coders since 2003. More than 63% of agencies require coders to have earned the HCS-D credential as a condition of employment. The credentials are overseen by an independent board of home health and OASIS experts nationally recognized as leading authorities. Each board member has more than 25 years of experience in home health and hospice, and all are in-demand home health and hospice coding educators.

About NCCA
To earn accreditation, the NCCA standards requires credentialing agencies to demonstrates they have in place valid and reliable process for development, implementation, maintenance, and governance of certification programs. Overseen by a board of commissioners, the NCCA accreditation is independent validation that a credentialing agency has met its rigorous standards of excellence.

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Corinne Kuypers-Denlinger
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