Wrapping Your Brain Around Encephalopathy Documentation, Coding and Severity Issues

July 19, 2018

The goal of this presentation is to enable participants to recognize encephalopathy indicators, query for specific documentation details, and assign complete and accurate codes to encephalopathy diagnoses and related conditions and complications so that these cases will receive appropriate DRG assignment, severity of ill and mortality risk adjustment scores.

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Learning outcomes

By the end of this webinar, participants will know or be able to do the following:

  • Differentiate between encephalopathy and other types of altered mental status.
  • Distinguish between the different common types of encephalopathy
  • Recognize clinical indicators, risk factors and underlying conditions of encephalopathy
  • Query care providers effectively and appropriately for important details about encephalopathy
  • Assign and sequence codes related to encephalopathy accurately
  • Recall impact that encephalopathy codes have on DRG assignment, severity of illness and mortality risk scoring


Susan Schmitz, JD, RN, CCS, CCDS, CDIP, is Regional Director of Clinical Documentation Improvement for SCAL Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, California. Schmitz’s experience includes 36 years as a registered nurse and 19 years in the CDI field – from consulting, to implementing managing hospital-based CDI programs including Cedar Sanai and UCLA, to serving as regional CDI director over 15 SCAL Kaiser Permanente medical centers. She is currently a member of the ACDIS Advisory Board.

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