CDI query templates for COVID-19

April 10, 2020 / By Cheryll Rogers, RHIA

Keeping pace with rapidly evolving requirements for coding and reporting of COVID-19 has been a priority focus for CDI and coding professionals over the past month. We were just starting to nail down new information for coding encounters related to COVID-19, published in the supplement to the ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding (February 20, 2020–March 31,2020), while at the same time looking ahead to the April 1 release of the new and specific code for COVID-19 (U07.1). Then, along with the release of the new COVID-19 code came the updated ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines, effective April 1–September 30, 2020. Not only is this pandemic unprecedented, so is a new code and revised guidelines in the middle of a fiscal year! 

To assist our HIM and CDI colleagues across the industry, 3M has developed three COVID-19 query templates, which are available for open download in this blog. These templates were designed to assist in the following situations:

  • Clarification of COVID-19 documented as “rule out” or with other similar terms such as “suspected,” “probable,” “likely,” etc., as only confirmed or presumptive positive diagnoses may be reported. Download template.
  • Specificity to clarify the presence of manifestations present in diagnostic terms, such as those that are respiratory, gastrointestinal, or cardiac in nature. Download template.
  • Clinical validation of COVID-19 as documented in the medical record to better support the diagnosis. Download template.

With physicians and providers on the frontlines of this pandemic, it can be especially difficult to obtain responses to queries. We sincerely hope these query templates lighten your load just a bit. In the end, we will all benefit when COVID-19 records are well-documented and accurately coded, yielding important data that will help us better understand the virus and patient outcomes.

Cheryll Rogers, RHIA, CCDS, CDIP, CCS is a senior inpatient consultant with 3M Health Information Systems.

During a pandemic, healthcare information is gathered, studied, and published rapidly by scientists, epidemiologists and public health experts without the usual processes of review. Our understanding is rapidly evolving and what we understand today will change over time. Definitive studies will be published long after the fact. 3M Inside Angle bloggers share our thoughts and expertise based on currently available information.

A note to 3M Health Information Systems customers: The 3M query templates will be available in upcoming product software releases scheduled for April and May. Please visit the 3M HIS Support website for more information, and to access the Physician Documentation Pocket Guide, a handy resource for physicians and other providers when documenting COVID-19 cases