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Mercy Medical Center Incorrectly Billed Medicare Inpatient Claims With Kwashiorkor

Mercy Medical Center, in Des Moines, Iowa, (the Hospital) did not comply with Medicare requirements for billing Kwashiorkor on any of the 102 claims that we reviewed. The Hospital used diagnosis code 260 for Kwashiorkor but should have used codes for other forms of malnutrition. For 88 of the inpatient claims, correcting the diagnosis code resulted in no change in the diagnosis-related group payment. However, for the remaining 14 inpatient claims, the errors resulted in overpayments of $89,000. Hospital officials attributed these errors to the medical coding software program used to code the diagnoses.

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Filed under: Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services