October 20, 2014
The billing and coding process is often termed as exhaustive for radiologists as it frequently comes in between their passion, i.e. radiology, and it also demands a lot of time and attention to detail for something they are not trained for. Remaining up-to-date with the regulations pertaining individual payer changes is a tough job; understanding it is even tougher! Radiologists thus have to strive in order to prosper and get their finances straight.
Outsourcing the job to professionals is a good move, however, it is still essential for them to be aware of the process and in addition to that, provide assistance at regular intervals for smoother payment recovery. Here are a few tips for radiologists to help keep track of the billing and coding process, and effortlessly chase their passion:
Check medical necessity and advanced beneficiary notices (ABNs). ABN is provided when Medicare fails to cover a service for a patient because of it being non-essential. ABN covers the technical and professional fee components; nevertheless, the professional component is often missed since it requires assistance from the facility staff and the ABN transmittal. To avoid such glitches, a radiologist needs to work with the concerned facility staff based at the patient’s hospital for proper listing of the professional fee. Besides that, coordinating with the medical billing company to attain a copy of the ABN signed by the patient is also helpful to avoid patient write-off.
Ensure that you are up-to-date with the required diction for records and audits. With audits becoming a standard verification process, the verbiage used to put down and describe the performed examinations need to be comprehensive. A radiologist needs to be well aware of the diction as it would further help eliminate costly court appeals or the need to submit additional information after a long time post rendering the service.
Review all templates and the examination titles. Owing to high volume of work, most radiologists create templates to make sure that all the necessary documentations are addressed and complete. An annual check at least once is necessary for the CTP updates because they need to be current. Changes in equipment, protocol or technique demands auditing of the template as and when the change occurs.
Notify the billing company about the changes in equipment if any, alterations in protocol or techniques. This would counter check accuracy and a timely update since the billing company is already made aware of the change.
Create an efficient way to minimize discrepancies and an effective process reporting. A report with accurate payment record as per the service provided, minimum denials and fewer auditing issues can enhance the chances of speedy payment processing.
The above tips for improving radiology billing and coding can be termed as benchmarks for radiologists as it add value to their work in the form of returns and will keep most of the problems at bay that happen to come in the way of these medical professionals.
Best Billing and Coding Practices