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Provider Documentation Guides (PDGs) Are Excellent Training Tools - Part II

PDGs, when properly used, can be tremendous tools to help providers document key pieces of information pertinent to identifying medical necessity for services ordered, performed, and billed. Using PDGs in provider training sessions can improve documentation habits, making proper code selection easier and medical necessity clear. Schedule and execute a quick, 10-minute provider session in the following manner:


1.  Make a master list of diagnoses associated with the most commonly performed services and procedures performed in your office. 

2.  Locate PDGs from the Provider Documentation Guides for your specialty. To order go to

3.  Make copies of the specific PDGs to be reviewed in the meeting for each provider. 

4.  Review the PDG fully with the providers being sure to identify key information from the ‘What to Document’ section and reviewing the changes in the code for ICD-10-CM.

5.  Encourage providers to keep a copy of the PDG they are currently working on near their dictation stations or an electronic copy on their computer desktop for easy access when documenting and to refer to it for any patient being seen for that particular diagnosis

By taking the time to ensure relevant ICD-10-CM provider training is taking place, you can be assured in the knowledge that your practice is proactive in incorporating the new ICD-10-CM code set in a meaningful way and you can also mark off meaningful provider education and training sessions in your organization's compliance plan.

Aimee Wilcox