HAP Radiology Billing and Coding Blog

2020 Medicare Fee Schedule Valuation Changes & Radiology Practice Impact

In the final 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), fee increases relevant to radiology overall outnumbered decreases.  However, many of those increases were insignificant changes of less than 1%.  There were 128 Professional Component (PC) codes decreased by more than 1%, with only 76 increased, while 430 Global codes increased by more than 1% and 346 Global codes decreased.  Here are the details:

Categories: radiology reimbursement, radiology billing, medicare reimbursement, MPFS, interventional radiology billing

What the January 2020 Update to the Medicare AUC/CDS Mandate Means for Radiologists

It’s a cold January here in the northeastern US, so it’s a good time to heat up plans to comply with the Medicare AUC Mandate!  We have entered the official Educational and Operations Testing Period of 2020, which means that Medicare is ready to accept the Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) modifiers and G-codes on claims now being submitted.  Let’s first review what this Medicare mandate means and then make plans to get it operational in your practice.

Categories: radiology reimbursement, medicare, cms, CDS, AUC

Get Ready for Changes to Radiology Billing in 2020

Our own Sandy Coffta, Vice President of Client Services, spoke with Aunt Minnie’s Brian Casey at the 2019 RSNA Annual Meeting in Chicago.  In the interview posted on auntminnie.com, Sandy mentioned some of the highlights that practices should be concerned about in the coming year. 

Categories: radiology reimbursement, radiology billing, radiology documentation, radiology coding, radiology

Update on Surprise Billing Legislation Across the Country

In the absence of federal regulation, states are adopting laws intended to protect patients from high out-of-pocket costs when they unexpectedly receive services from out-of-network (OON) providers.  When a patient receives an unexpected bill following such OON services the situation is known as “surprise billing.”  Not all OON billing falls into the category of “surprise billing,” however.  In many cases, patients understand that the services they are receiving are OON and they expect to pay all or part of the bill.

Categories: radiology reimbursement, radiology billing, surprise billing

The Value of PICC Lines for Interventional Radiologists

Interventional radiologists are often called to perform peripherally inserted central venous catheter (PICC) prodecures.  Recent coding and policy changes bundle all imaging guidance and the confirmation of final placement into a single CPT® code.  Let’s review the financial implications of those changes.

Categories: radiology reimbursement, medicare reimbursement, interventional radiology, PICC

Understanding The Valuation Changes In The Final Medicare Fee Schedule For 2019

Our review of the proposed 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) showed that 201 Professional Component (PC) codes and 213 Global codes were to be decreased by at least 1% in the Diagnostic Radiology 70000-series of CPT codes.  In the final MPFS, only 46 PC codes were reduced by 1% or more, but 280 global codes were reduced by at least 1%.  The number of codes expected to increase in payment did not change as dramatically, but in both PC and Global billing fewer codes were increased than we expected.  Here are the details:

Categories: radiology reimbursement, interventional radiology, MPFS, radiology, diagnostic radiology

Medicare’s AUC/CDS Mandate Will Begin Next Year

We’ve been watching the development of the Appropriate Use Criteria/Clinical Decision Support (AUC/CDS) requirement since 2014 when it was first included in the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA 2014).  The latest Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) confirms that the requirement to use CDS will begin this coming year on January 1, 2020, but imposition of any penalties associated with the referring physician’s failure to do so will be delayed until 2021.  We are currently in a voluntary reporting period that runs through the end of 2019, so it’s a good time for every radiology practice to review where it stands with regard to this important Medicare regulation.

Categories: radiology reimbursement, radiology documentation, CDS, radiology, AUC

The Importance of Accepting Electronic Payments at Your Radiology Practice

In our article Best Practices in Radiology Patient Billing, we identified a greater focus on practice billing processes as a critical element in improving patients’ satisfaction with the practice, and we encouraged practices to accept electronic payments.  According to the InstaMed Trends in Healthcare Payments Eighth Annual Report 2017 released in May 2018, “Consumer loyalty is increasingly tied to the healthcare payments experience as 65 percent of consumers would consider switching healthcare providers for a better healthcare payments experience.” 

Categories: radiology reimbursement, medical billing, patient billing, patient collections, radiology, patient experience

A Review of the ACR’s Comments On The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule For 2019

The American College of Radiology (ACR) does a very thorough job of reviewing and commenting on proposed federal legislation such as the annual changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS).  Their 59-page letter of September 10, 2019 to Seema Verma, Administrator 
of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is available on the ACR website for radiologists to review in detail. 

Categories: radiology reimbursement, MPFS, radiology

How the Proposed Medicare Fee Schedule Changes Will Impact Radiology Practices

CMS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is constantly on the lookout for procedure codes that it feels do not reflect the current cost or complexity of practice in their valuation.  The annual Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) rule modifies many codes with varying degrees of impact to radiology practices. 

Categories: radiology reimbursement, interventional radiology, MPFS, radiology

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