5. Refuse to change reported codes or the narratives of codes so that meanings are misrepresented. 6. Refuse to participate in or support coding or documentation practices intended to inappropriately increase payment, qualify for insurance policy coverage, or skew data by means that do not comply with federal and state statutes, regulations, and official rules and guidelines. 7. Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration in situations supporting proper coding practices. 8. Advance coding knowledge and practice through continuing education. 9. Refuse to participate in or conceal unethical coding or abstraction practices or procedures. 10. Protect the confidentiality of the health record at all times and refuse to access protected health information not required for coding-related activities ( examples of coding-related activities include completion of code assignment, other health record data abstraction, coding audits, and educational purposes). 11. Demonstrate behavior that reflects integrity, shows a commitment to ethical and legal coding practices, and fosters trust in professional activities. Resources AHIMA Code of Ethics: Available at bok1_024277.hcsp?dDocName=bok1_024277 ICD-9-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting: icd9cm_guidelines_2011.pdf AHIMA’s position statement on Quality Health Data and Information: Available at xpedio/groups/public/documents/ahima/bok1_047492.pdf. AHIMA’s position statement on Uniformity and Consistency of Healthcare Data. Available at . org/xpedio/groups/public/documents/ahima/bok1_047490.pdf. AHIMA Practice Brief titled “Managing an Effective Query Process:” Available at xpedio/groups/public/documents/ahima/bok1_040394.hcsp?dDocName=bok1_040394 Copyright © 2015 by the American Health Information Management Association.
Appendix G: American Health Information Management Association Code of Ethics 12 How to Interpret the Standards of Ethical Coding The following ethical principles are based on the core values of the American Health Informa- tion Management Association and the AHIMA Code of Ethics and apply to all coding profes- sionals. Guidelines for each ethical principle include examples of behaviors and situations that can help to clarify the principle. They are not meant as a comprehensive list of all situations that can occur. 1. Apply accurate, complete, and consistent coding practices for the production of high- quality healthcare data. Coding professionals and those who manage coded data shall: 1.1. Support selection of appropriate diagnostic, procedure and other types of health service related codes (e.g., present on admission indicator, discharge status). Example: Policies and procedures are developed and used as a framework for the work process, and education and training is provided on their use.
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- Ethics, American Health Information Management Association