HAP Radiology Billing and Coding Blog

Radiology Documentation Guidelines for Optimized Coding and Reimbursement

In radiology, like all other medical specialties, proper documentation is critical to achieving appropriate reimbursement. If the proper terminology is no used or important descriptors are omitted from the radiology report, the physician may not get paid for the services he or she performed.

Categories: radiology reimbursement, physician reimbursement, radiology documentation, radiology

Update on Billing for y-90 Radioembolization Procedures

Our 2014 article "Interventional Radiology Meets Radiation Oncology – The y-90 Story” focused on the documentation requirements that will assist coders to maximize reimbursement for this complex procedure.  Those documentation tips are still valid today.  This update reviews the 2017 state-of-the-art in coding for y-90 procedures.

 

Categories: radiology reimbursement, radiology billing, radioembolization, interventional radiology, nuclear medicine, y-90, radiology

CMS Issues Its Proposed 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule

The annual regulatory cycle of review, comment, planning and preparation has begun with the release of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Proposed Rule for 2018. In its preliminary review of those sections of the MPFS that will be of specific interest to radiology practices, The American College of Radiology (ACR) includes a statement that “the ACR is pleased with several provisions within the rule.”  They highlight the planned implementation of the Appropriate Use Criteria and Clinical Decision Support rules beginning January 1, 2019 and the proposal to leave the technical component of mammography services unchanged rather than lowering it by 50% as previously discussed. 

 

Categories: radiology reimbursement, cms, MPFS, radiology

New Information on the Medicare Rules for Appropriate Use Criteria and Clinical Decision Support

New information has been provided by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that will supplement our article An Update for Radiologists on Appropriate Use Criteria and Clinical Decision Support.  We can now update you from the recent release of the “Proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) for 2018” and the “Proposed Rule for Quality Payment Program Year 2.”

Categories: radiology reimbursement, clinical decision support, radiology, appropriate use criteria

Successfully Collecting for Imaging Services to Skilled Nursing Facility Patients

Patients in rehabilitation facilities sometimes need imaging services that cannot be provided within the facility itself. Imaging centers willingly accept these patients but they can inadvertently fall into a collections quagmire if they aren’t aware of the Medicare rules related to skilled nursing facilities.

Categories: radiology reimbursement, radiology, skilled nursing facilities

Best Practices in Radiology Patient Billing

 Maximizing the patient experience is no longer limited to the achievement of clinical success. It is a critical component of the new, broader partnership between provider and patient – one that now encompasses conversations regarding not only service quality and cost, but also places a greater focus on practice billing processes in line with the higher demands inherent to the new patient consumerism trend.  

 

Categories: radiology reimbursement, radiology billing, patient collections

An Update for Radiologists on Appropriate Use Criteria and Clinical Decision Support

Radiologists are understandably nervous about the Medicare rule requiring the use of Appropriate Use Criteria and Clinical Decision Support (AUC/CDS) systems. 

Categories: radiology reimbursement, radiology documentation, clinical decision support, CDS

Proper Use of Medicare ABN's for Radiology Practices

There are circumstances where payment is expected to be denied by Medicare for radiology services to be provided to a Medicare patient. In such cases, the radiology practice must look to the patient for payment.  However, without following proper procedures the practice will be precluded from collecting from either the patient or Medicare.

Categories: radiology reimbursement, medicare reimbursement

The Need for Standardized Radiology Documentation to Maximize Medicare Reimbursements

Accuracy and completeness in radiology reporting has taken on an even higher level of importance in order to maximize Medicare reimbursement. The Quality Payment Program (QPP) under MACRA highlights the necessity to meet new quality performance standards.  While the benefits of structured reporting using templates have been discussed before, including in our article Reimbursement Benefits of Structured Radiology Reporting, reporting on quality measures under the QPP has to include very specific terminology in order to receive credit for the measure.  This is an ideal time for radiologists to begin to use standardized reporting across their practice to ensure that all of the critical elements of documentation are met. 

Categories: radiology reimbursement, medicare reimbursement, MIPS, MACRA

Assessing the Impact of High Deductible Health Plans on Radiology Practices

Before the days of managed care, insurance plans were “indemnity coverage” that reimbursed patients for their out-of-pocket costs. Physicians billed the patients and got paid when the patients felt like making payment, usually only after the insurance company had reimbursed them.  Often, the insurance money went elsewhere in the patient’s budget and the physician waited for payment.  The not-so-good old days!  With the advent of managed care contracting where physicians were paid directly by the insurance company, patient balance collections mostly disappeared.  Today the pendulum is swinging back in the opposite direction, requiring practices to once again face the necessity to collect significant balances from patients. 

Categories: radiology reimbursement, radiology billing

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