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(1/59) Electrosurgery for the skin.

The purposes of electrosurgery are to destroy benign and malignant lesions, control bleeding, and cut or excise tissue. The major modalities in electrosurgery are electrodesiccation, fulguration, electrocoagulation, and electrosection. Electrosurgery can be used for incisional techniques that produce full-thickness excision of nevi, for shave techniques that produce partial-thickness removal of superficial lesions, and for removing vascular lesions such as hemangiomas or pyogenic granulomas. The correct output power can be determined by starting low and increasing the power until the desired outcome is attained (destruction, coagulation, or cutting). Smaller cherry angiomas can be electrocoagulated lightly. Larger cherry angiomas may be easier to treat by shaving them first, then electrocoagulating or desiccating the base. The elevated portion of pyogenic granulomas can be shaved off with a scalpel or a loop electrode using a cutting/coagulation current. The base of the lesion is curetted to remove the remaining tissue and then electrodesiccated. Complications such as burns, shocks, and transmission of infection can be prevented by careful use of the electrosurgical equipment.  (+info)

(2/59) National Hospital Discharge Survey: 2000 annual summary with detailed diagnosis and procedure data.

OBJECTIVES: This report presents national estimates for 2000 and selected trend data on the use of non-Federal short-stay hospitals in the United States. Estimates are provided by demographic characteristics of patients discharged, geographic region, ownership and bed size of hospitals, principal expected source of payment, conditions diagnosed, and surgical and nonsurgical procedures performed. METHODS: The estimates are based on data collected through the National Hospital Discharge Survey. The survey has been conducted annually by the National Center for Health Statistics since 1965. In 2000, data were collected for approximately 313,000 discharges. Of the 481 eligible non-Federal short-stay hospitals in the sample, 434 (90 percent) responded to the survey. Measurements of hospital use include number and rate of discharges and days of care, and the average length of stay. The population estimates used to compute rates were based on the 1990 Census. Estimates of first-listed diagnoses, days of care, all-listed diagnoses, and all-listed procedures are presented according to their code number in the International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM). RESULTS: An estimated 31.7 million inpatients were discharged from non-Federal short-stay hospitals in 2000. These patients used an estimated 155.9 million days of care. Females had 19.2 million discharges compared with 12.5 million for males. Fifty-four percent of all discharges under age 65 years had a principal expected source of payment from a private source, and 22 percent were covered by Medicaid. Discharge rates per 1,000 population ranged from 85.4 in the West to 135.5 in the Northeast. The leading discharge diagnosis was delivery for patients under age 65 years and heart disease for those 65 years of age and over. The rate of discharges with coronary artery bypass graft for males was 2.4 times the rate for females, and males had almost twice the female rate for discharges with removal of coronary artery obstruction. Hospital stays were 1 day or less for 15 percent of women with deliveries in 2000, compared with 37 percent in 1995.  (+info)

(3/59) Using Medicare data to estimate the prevalence of breast cancer screening in older women: comparison of different methods to identify screening mammograms.

OBJECTIVES: To compare different methods for defining screening mammograms with Medicare claims and their impact on estimates of breast cancer screening rates. METHODS: Medicare outpatient facility and physician claims for 61,962 women in 1993 and 59,652 women in 1998 were reviewed for evidence of receipt of screening mammography. We compared the estimates of screening mammography use derived from CPT (Current Procedure Terminology) codes to categorize mammograms as screening or diagnostic versus using an algorithm that uses CPT codes plus breast-related diagnoses in the prior two years. We also compared estimates obtained from review of physician claims alone, facility claims alone, or the combination of the two sources of claims. RESULTS: Use of physician claims alone produced estimates of screening rates similar to rates calculated from use of both physician and outpatient (facility) claims. In 1993, the CPT code for screening mammography underestimated the rate of screening compared to estimates generated by using the algorithm (8.3 percent versus 18.0 percent prevalence, p<0.001). By 1998, the screening prevalence rate generated from using the CPT code for screening mammography more closely approximated the rate generated by the algorithm (23.0 percent versus 25.1 percent). By all methods of estimating screening mammography with Medicare claims, its prevalence increased substantially between 1993 and 1998. CONCLUSION: Providers increased their use of the screening mammography code in their charges to Medicare during the 1990s. This has improved the claims' ability to distinguish screening from diagnostic mammograms, but screening rates computed with claims continue to fall below those generated from self-reports of mammography use among general populations of older women.  (+info)

(4/59) Changes in the use of coronary artery revascularization procedures in the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Hospital Discharge Survey, and the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, 1991-1999.

BACKGROUND: There have been dramatic increases in the number of coronary artery bypass surgeries (CABS) and percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) performed during the last decade. Whether this finding is true for revascularization procedures performed in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers is the subject of this paper. METHODS: This study compared the number of revascularization procedures and rates of use in the VA, the National Hospital Discharge Survey, and the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Included were men who underwent isolated CABS and/or PCI, including stenting, between 1991 and 1999, although data for the Nationwide Inpatient Sample were available only between 1993 and 1997. Age adjusted use rates were calculated with the direct method of standardization. RESULTS: The percent of users of VA healthcare 75 years and older increased from 10% in 1991 to 20% in 1999. In the VA, the number of isolated CABS declined from 6227 in 1991 to 6147 in 1999, whereas age adjusted rates declined from 167.6 per 100,000 in 1991 to 107.9 per 100,000 in 1999. In the 2 national surveys, both the estimated numbers of procedures and use rates increased over time. In all 3 settings, there were increases in both numbers and rate of PCI from 1993, although in the VA, use rates decreased from 191.2 per 100,000 in 1996 to 139.7 per 100,000 in 1999. VA use rates for both CABS and PCI were lower than those in the 2 national surveys. CONCLUSION: Age adjusted rates of CABS and PCI were lower in the VA than in 2 national surveys. Since 1996, there has been a decrease in the rate of use of revascularization procedures in the VA.  (+info)

(5/59) Validation of data collection for the HEDIS performance measure on chlamydia screening in an MCO.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the validity of calculating the chlamydia Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measure using administrative data available in a mixed-model managed care organization (MCO). STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. METHODS: A review of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9), Current Procedural Termin-ology (CPT), Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), and National Drug Code codes and electronic laboratory files in 1998 and a medical chart review to validate sexual activity and chlamydia testing codes specified by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) in 1999 for the chlamydia HEDIS 2000 measure. RESULTS: Fewer than 25% of female enrollees with laboratory evidence of a chlamydia test had a CPT code for chlamydia testing as specified by the NCQA. Non-pathogen-specific test codes instead of NCQA-specified codes were used in 1998 to code chlamydia tests. By incorporating electronic laboratory data into the automated claims-generating process, all chlamydia tests performed at staff-model clinics were coded. Use of pharmacy dispensing data to identify contraceptive prescriptions increased the proportion of enrollees classified as sexually active by 4% to 5% vs documentation of sexual activity using ICD-9, CPT, and HCPCS codes only. CONCLUSIONS: The MCO quality assurance specialists examining chlamydia testing rates under HEDIS may want to evaluate chlamydia testing coding practices in their MCOs to determine whether simple changes in coding practices may present a more accurate picture of actual testing practices. The proportion of female enrollees classified as sexually active using different data available in the staff and network models varied only slightly.  (+info)

(6/59) National Academy of Neuropsychology/Division 40 of the American Psychological Association Practice Survey of Clinical Neuropsychology in the United States. Part II: Reimbursement experiences, practice economics, billing practices, and incomes.

Leaders of the National Academy of Neuropsychology and Division 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology) of the American Psychological Association determined that current information on the professional practice of clinical neuropsychology within the United States was needed. These two organizations co-sponsored a national survey of U.S. clinical neuropsychologists that was conducted in September 2000. The primary goal of the survey was to gather information on such topics as: practitioner and practice characteristics, economic variables (e.g., experience with major third party payors, such as Medicare and managed care), practice expenses, billing methods, experiences with Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes, time spent on various clinical tasks, use of assistants, and income. In this second of two articles describing the survey results, reimbursement experiences, practice economics, billing practices, and incomes are highlighted. Survey results indicate that neuropsychologists frequently have difficulty gaining access to membership on managed care panels. For those who gain access, managed care companies often limit provision of services; this is quite often perceived as negatively affecting quality of patient care. It is very common for neuropsychologists to feel obligated to provide more services to managed care and Medicare patients than are allowed to be billed to the insurance carrier; these hours are typically "written off." Numerous CPT codes are used to bill the same clinical service. Awareness of Medicare practice and billing expectations is variable among practitioners, as is awareness of public aid/Medicaid billing status. Professional income is influenced by years of licensed practice, practice setting, gender, types and amounts of non-clinical professional activities, and types and amounts of reimbursement sources within one's clinical practice. Income of neuropsychologists has only a minimal relationship to percentage of clinical practice per week. Within the context of prior surveys, neuropsychologists are engaging in more clinical hours per week and, nevertheless, compared to data from 1993, are reporting decreased income. These and other findings are presented and discussed.  (+info)

(7/59) Improving quality measurement using multiple data sources.

We calculated a sample of AHRQ Quality and Patient Safety Indicators for UVa hospitalized patients over a 3 year period using diagnoses and procedure codes from two different billing systems. Significant differences in results were observed suggesting that quality indicators calculated from hospital billing sources alone may be understated.  (+info)

(8/59) The Surgical Nosology In Primary-care Settings (SNIPS): a simple bridging classification for the interface between primary and specialist care.

BACKGROUND: The interface between primary care and specialist medical services is an important domain for health services research and policy. Of particular concern is optimising specialist services and the organisation of the specialist workforce to meet the needs and demands for specialist care, particularly those generated by referral from primary care. However, differences in the disease classification and reporting of the work of primary and specialist surgical sectors hamper such research. This paper describes the development of a bridging classification for use in the study of potential surgical problems in primary care settings, and for classifying referrals to surgical specialties. METHODS: A three stage process was undertaken, which involved: (1) defining the categories of surgical disorders from a specialist perspective that were relevant to the specialist-primary care interface; (2) classifying the 'terms' in the International Classification of Primary Care Version 2-Plus (ICPC-2 Plus) to the surgical categories; and (3) using referral data from 303,000 patient encounters in the BEACH study of general practice activity in Australia to define a core set of surgical conditions. Inclusion of terms was based on the probability of specialist referral of patients with such problems, and specialists' perception that they constitute part of normal surgical practice. RESULTS: A four-level hierarchy was developed, containing 8, 27 and 79 categories in the first, second and third levels, respectively. These categories classified 2050 ICPC-2 Plus terms that constituted the fourth level, and which covered the spectrum of problems that were managed in primary care and referred to surgical specialists. CONCLUSION: Our method of classifying terms from a primary care classification system to categories delineated by specialists should be applicable to research addressing the interface between primary and specialist care. By describing the process and putting the bridging classification system in the public domain, we invite comment and application in other settings where similar problems might be faced.  (+info)