The Impact of Coding on Maternal Outcomes

April 25th, 2022 - Kristi Pollard, RHIT, CCS, CPC, CIRCC, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer
Categories:   Coding  

This area of coding is not so easy.

While most maternal deaths are preventable, the rate has been increasing in the United States since 2000. As a matter of fact, the U.S. has twice as many maternal deaths than other high-income countries.

To reverse this trend, The Joint Commission, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) are focusing on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) measure of severe maternal morbidity (SMM). This measure is also a key metric used by state Perinatal Quality Collaboratives, in partnership with the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM), a national (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HHS) data-driven maternal safety and quality improvement initiative. AIM has developed national safety bundles (e.g. hemorrhage, hypertension, reducing primary Cesarean delivery) with the goal of reducing SMM and preventable maternal deaths in the U.S. 

In late 2022/early 2023, The Joint Commission, together with CMS, will be introducing a risk-adjusted version of SMM (PC-07) suitable for all hospitals with maternity services. AIM hospital data is currently collected on a state-by-state basis. In some states, the local AIM initiative is coordinated by the state hospital association; in other states, multi-stakeholder quality improvement organizations have taken the lead. The quality indicators used by the AIM program are often based on ICD-10 codes; some of the AIM quality indicators are also utilized in The Joint Commission’s perinatal core measure set. 

The SMM rate identifies women during the birth hospitalization that experience any of the following severe complications:

  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • Aneurysm
  • Acute renal failure
  • Adult respiratory distress syndrome
  • Amniotic fluid embolism
  • Cardiac arrest/ventricular fibrillation
  • Conversion of cardiac rhythm
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation
  • Eclampsia
  • Heart failure/arrest during surgery or procedure
  • Puerperal cerebrovascular disorders
  • Pulmonary edema/acute heart failure
  • Severe anesthesia complications
  • Sepsis
  • Shock
  • Sickle cell disease with crisis
  • Air and thrombotic embolism
  • Blood products transfusion
  • Hysterectomy
  • Temporary tracheostomy
  • Ventilation


Read the entire article at ICD10monitor by clicking here.

This article originally published on October 18, 2021 by ICD10monitor.


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