Risk Adjustment and Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) coding is a payment model mandated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 1997. Implemented in 2003, this model identifies individuals with serious or chronic illness and assigns a risk factor score to the person based upon a combination of the individual’s health conditions and demographic details. The individual’s health conditions are identified via International Classification of Diseases – 10 (ICD –10) diagnoses that are submitted by providers on incoming claims. There are more than 9000 ICD-10 codes that map to 79 HCC codes in the Risk Adjustment model.
CMS requires documentation in the person’s medical record by a qualified health care provider to support the submitted diagnosis. Documentation must support the presence of the condition and indicate the provider’s assessment and/or plan for management of the condition. This must occur at least once each calendar year in order for CMS to recognize the individual continues to have the condition.
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