An US based medical billing and coding company with vast experience in the field, Outsource Strategies International (OSI) provides revenue cycle management solutions for various medical specialties.

In today’s podcast, Meghann Drella, one of our Senior Solutions Managers, discusses the significance of observing October as “National Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)” Awareness month in the United States.

Hello and welcome to our podcast series. My name Is Meghann Drella and I am a senior solutions manager here at Outsource Strategies International. Today, I will be discussing how October is observed as “National Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Awareness” month in the United States.

0.16 – Introduction to ADHD Awareness Month

Sponsored by a coalition of organizations like ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO), Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) and the Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity (CHADD), this campaign aims to spread awareness about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, remove the stigma and highlight the available resources that help individuals and families to live successfully with ADHD. It aims to focus on the latest research and clinical studies with the goal of bringing more effective treatments.

0.46 – ADHD and Causes

A common neurodevelopmental disorder affecting both children and adults around the globe, ADHD can cause above-normal levels of hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. Also known as attention deficit disorder (ADD), the condition is characterized by behavioral problems related to attention, impulsivity and/or hyperactivity that can interfere with the person’s day-to-day functioning or development. The condition can continue through adolescence and adulthood. The exact factors that cause attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are unknown. However, genetics and neurobiological factors are believed to play an active role. If left untreated, ADHD can lead to several serious consequences. Neuropsychologists, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and other specialists offering treatment to patients with this behavioral disorder must know the correct medical codes to report the condition correctly.

1.39 – Significance of ADHD Campaign and Statistics

The 2020 month-long campaign aims to celebrate the progress made in ADHD education and advocacy. It is a novel platform that helps recognize the work that still needs to be done and raise awareness about the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. Reports suggest that approximately 7.2 percent of children worldwide have ADHD, while about 3.4 percent of adults are estimated to have diagnosed or undiagnosed ADHD. It is estimated that, in the United States, approximately 9 percent of children have been diagnosed with ADHD and 4 percent of adults are estimated to have either diagnosed or undiagnosed ADHD. For about half of the children with ADHD, the condition continues to clearly exhibit symptoms into adulthood, presenting a range of challenges across the person’s lifespan. In fact, boys are more than twice as likely as girls to have ever been diagnosed with ADHD.

2.33 – Types of ADHD and Symptoms

There are three different types of ADHDs which include – predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactivity-impulsive, and a combination of both. People with predominantly inattentive type of ADHD have extreme difficulty focusing, finishing tasks, and following instructions. On the other hand, people with predominantly hyperactivity-impulsive type depict primarily hyperactive and impulsive behavior like – fidgeting, interrupting people while they’re talking, and not being able to wait their turn. However, a combination of both these types displays both inattentive and hyperactive symptoms. Common symptoms include – trouble focusing or concentrating on tasks, being forgetful about completing tasks, easily being distracted, having difficulty sitting still, trouble coping with stress, interrupting people when talking, and problems following through and completing tasks.

3.28 - Diagnosis and Treatment

There is no single test that can definitely diagnose ADHD. Generally, the diagnosis may begin with an interview and detailed medical history evaluation to obtain relevant information about changes in past and present behavior patterns over the last six months. Physicians may gather information from friends and family members and ask questions to establish a behavioral history to obtain the best likely diagnosis. This may include questions about how the patient functions at home, school or work. Patients will be asked to fill out a checklist with symptoms. In addition, a detailed physical examination will be performed to rule out symptoms of other medical conditions resembling those of ADHD. Patients may need to undergo different types of psychological tests to rule out the presence of co-existing conditions like anxiety or depression. Depending on the extent of diagnosis, patients may take an appointment with a psychiatrist or neurologist for detailed analysis and treatment. One of the most important aspects of treatment is determining the type of ADHD a person is suffering from. Treatment approaches for attention deficit disorders (ADDs) include a combination of medications and behavioral therapy. Prescription medications like psycho stimulants, antidepressants, and non-stimulant drugs can help patients with ADD to stay on-task and focused.

4.48 – Clinical Criteria and Guidelines for Diagnosing ADHD

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) provides the clinical criteria and guidelines for diagnosing ADHD. To make a diagnosis, children should have six or more symptoms of the disorder present. Adolescents 17 and older, and adults should have at least five of the symptoms. There must also be evidence that symptoms began before the age of 12 years. The diagnostic tests and other treatment procedures administered for ADHD must be correctly documented using the right medical codes.

5.21 - History and Theme of ADHD Awareness Month

ADHD Awareness Month was first initiated in the year 2004 as a collaboration of multiple organizations such as ACO, ADDA and CHADD. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of ADHD by providing information that is reliable. The theme of the 2020 campaign is – “Common Questions, Reliable Answers”. The theme aims to collect the top questions about ADHD to be answered by internationally respected researchers and ADHD experts and professionals. These answers will be shared on the ADHD awareness website and other social platforms.

I hope this helps, but always remember that documentation as well as a thorough knowledge of payer regulations and guidelines is critical to ensure accurate reimbursement for the procedures performed.

Thank for joining me, and stay tuned for my next podcast!