HAP Medical Billing and Coding Blog

Finalized MACRA Rules for 2017 Contain Some Good News for Radiologists

Earlier this year CMS published its proposed regulations that would implement the MACRA law to revamp the Medicare physician payment system. On October 14th, after consideration of over 4,000 comments about the proposed rules, CMS published the final rule that will govern the initial measurement period that begins January 1, 2017 for payment adjustments in 2019. 

Categories: radiology reimbursement, MIPS, MACRA, Quality Payment Program

What Radiology Practices Need to Know About the 2017 MPPR Update

Since its first appearance in the Medicare rules, the radiology community has been quarreling with CMS about the Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction (MPPR) on the professional component of certain diagnostic imaging services.  Finally, Congress has taken steps to mitigate the impact of this rule. 

Categories: radiology reimbursement, mppr

How to Choose a Radiology Revenue Cycle Management Vendor - Part 2

Our first article in this series provided a list of questions to ask when evaluating a professional services Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) vendor for your radiology practice.  If your current RCM vendor cannot answer all of them positively, it’s time to look for a new vendor.  With a large number of RCM companies available in the market, how should you decide which one to choose?

Categories: radiology reimbursement, radiology billing, radiology coding

How to Avoid Radiology Claims Denials – Medical Necessity

In our previous articles in this series, we covered the top two reasons for radiology claims denials, Patient Eligibility Problems and Lack of Proper Authorization.  The third biggest reason for insurance claims denials is failure to document the medical necessity for the exam. Let’s take a look at this issue in detail so that your radiology practice can avoid such claims denials. 

Categories: radiology reimbursement, radiology documentation, denial management

CMS Announces a Revision to Its Proposed MACRA Rules

Under regulations proposed earlier this year, physicians will face up to a 4% fee schedule reduction in 2019 for failure to meet the reporting requirements of the new Quality Payment Program in 2017. Now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it is going to revise those proposed regulations to make it easier to avoid the negative adjustment and perhaps even earn a slight positive adjustment in 2019.  The final rules will be published around November 1, 2016 and will take effect on January 1, 2017.

Categories: radiology reimbursement, medicare reimbursement, PQRS, Quality Payment Program

What Radiology Practices Need to Know About the New CMS Updates to the ICD-10 Guidelines

The grace period during which Medicare would not impose penalties for less-than-specific coding under ICD-10-CM* is expiring on October 1, 2016.  The change from ICD-9 to ICD-10 diagnosis coding that took place on October 1, 2015 was a major adjustment for most physicians and their practice staff.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recognized some of the difficulties that were going to be faced in the transition, and in response they issued a document of guidance describing certain ‘flexibilities’ that would initially be allowed.

Categories: radiology reimbursement, icd-10

How to Avoid Radiology Claims Denials - Authorization

This article continues our series focusing on how to avoid radiology claims denials. In our first article, we covered Patient Eligibility Problems.  Now let’s look at the topic of procedure authorization, specifically the failure to obtain proper authorization before the service is performed.

Categories: radiology reimbursement, denial management, claims denials

Transitioning Your Radiology Practice to MIPS: The Quality Component

By now everyone involved in billing Medicare for physician services should be aware of the new Quality Payment Program (QPP) that will be in effect for payments in 2019 based on data submitted in 2017.  The new system was outlined in our recent article Medicare Quality Reporting Rules are Changing.  The regulations that will govern the new system will not be finalized until later this year, but radiology practices will benefit from preparing as early as possible to capture the data they will need to report under the new system.  ­

Categories: radiology reimbursement, medicare reimbursement, MIPS, Quality Payment Program

CMS Issues Its Proposed 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued its proposed revisions to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) for 2017, thus beginning the annual cycle of review, comment, planning and preparation that goes along with this release.  Missing from this year’s proposed rule are provisions related to the Medicare quality reporting programs (PQRS, VM, MU-EHR*) that have been a large part of the rule in recent years. 

Categories: radiology reimbursement, MPFS

How to Choose a Radiology Revenue Cycle Management Vendor – Part 1

When a major hospital-based radiology practice realized that their outpatient volume had dropped suddenly, their Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) company stepped up to quickly diagnose the problem. Using their analytic database, they produced a focused referring doctor report that revealed significant outpatient service volume declines concentrated among a handful of providers, one of which had decreased by 60%.  It’s this kind of responsiveness that sets a true RCM partner apart from the average vendor.

Categories: radiology billing, radiology coding

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