Age-Related Debility

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Use of “failure to thrive” in the adult population will not impact patient acuity through risk adjustment mechanisms that can impact CMS mortality measures. The United States National Institute of Aging describes a failure to thrive as a “syndrome of weight loss, decreased appetite and poor nutrition, and inactivity, often accompanied by dehydration, depressive symptoms, impaired immune function, and low cholesterol.”

To accurately represent patient acuity under CMS risk-adjustment methodology, document a diagnosis for each of the related conditions.

    – If you diagnose failure to thrive, ALSO consider if the following diagnoses are appropriate:
    – When malnutrition criteria are met, capture this diagnosis along with mild, moderate, or severe.
    – To reflect weight loss and poor nutrition that do not reach the threshold of malnutrition, consider diagnosing cachexia.
    – To reflect inactivity, consider diagnosing age-related physical debility

    Frailty is often defined as an aging-related syndrome of physiological decline. Frail patients often present with symptoms including weakness and fatigue, medical complexity, and reduced tolerance to medical and surgical interventions.

    Download the complete tip, Age-Related Debility.