Here’s How to Create Your Coding Red Book

A “Red Book” or “Coding Bible” is a critical asset that can support multiple teams and departments. With one “source of truth” that everyone can use as a reference guide, it’s easier to stay on the same page and ensure accurate coding.

Creating a Red Book can feel like an insurmountable endeavor, but it doesn’t have to. By organizing and outlining all your necessary information, you can create an effective, efficient resource that will have your team singing your praises.

Here is a basic outline to help you start creating your Red Book:

    • Table of Contents
    • Name of Specialty Group
    • Regulatory Guidelines
    • Payor Guidelines
    • General Coding Conventions and Legal Guidelines
    • Updated ICD-10 “Cheat Sheet”
    • Coding Worksheet for the specific specialty group
      • Worksheet should include CPT® codes specific to your specialty
    • Label each medical record or plan document separately with the corresponding CPT® code
    • De-identify the patient information if copies are made
    • Code capture according to supporting documentation/authentication
    • Run the Bill-to-Treat Report Verification
    • Audit Worksheet
      • Independently audit your own work

Helpful Tips:

  • Check National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) edits, duplicate entries, correct modifiers, units, treatment codes, etc.
  • Verify documents have been authenticated by the provider(s)
  • Create tabs for your Red Book to easily organize the information
  • Include any additional information that you deem helpful in coding correctly

While the above list isn’t all-inclusive, we hope it provides a framework for your Red Book. Each organization is different, so it’s important to consider the unique needs and requirements of your team.


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