2019 IPPS Final Rule caution: Acute respiratory distress versus acute respiratory distress syndrome

One pivotal update included in the CMS fiscal year (FY) 2019 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) Final Rule is the addition of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) to the list of diagnoses that count as major complicating conditions and comorbidities (MCC). Although this addition may be beneficial for those difficult cases with a paired DRG and very limited MCC opportunity, this update does not come without the likelihood of confusion or incorrect code assignment.

Angelica Naylor, MBA, BSN, RN, CCDS, the supervisor of the clinical documentation management program at North Kansas City Hospital in Missouri, wrote this article on behalf of the 2018 ACDIS CDI Regulatory Committee. For information about the committee and its work, contact Allen Frady (afrady@acdis.org).