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Dan Murdoch

August 1, 2023
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5 Tips On Medical Billing For Radiology & How To Improve It

5 Tips On Medical Billing For Radiology & How To Improve It

Medical billing for radiology can be complex and challenging. Adhering to ever-evolving regulations and understanding nuanced payer changes is crucial for radiologists to ensure they are adequately reimbursed. While outsourcing billing responsibilities is common, radiologists must stay informed to maximize their financial outcomes. Adonis, with its vast experience in healthcare billing and reimbursement, offers insights to navigate this intricate landscape.

1. Comprehensive Medical Necessity Monitoring & Advanced Beneficiary Notices (ABNs):

Medical necessity is a fundamental concept in healthcare billing. It refers to services or supplies meeting the standards of good medical practice. Effective monitoring of these services, especially in radiology, ensures that claims are valid and reduces chances of denials.

Collaboration is Key:

  • The medical billing process requires multiple departments to work in tandem. Radiologists must actively collaborate with facility staff at the patient’s hospital.
  • The aim is to ensure comprehensive coverage in the Advanced Beneficiary Notices (ABNs), particularly the facility technical component and the professional component fees. Such collaboration reduces ambiguities and disputes later on.

Streamlined Coordination:

  • Given the complexities involved, it's crucial to establish and maintain a smooth, transparent process.
  • This involves setting up consistent channels with the billing company to receive a signed copy of the ABN from the patient.
  • Establishing this protocol is more than just a formality. It can considerably reduce patient write-offs, ensuring that radiologists receive the payment they deserve for their services.

Educate Ordering Physicians:

  • Ordering physicians play a pivotal role in the billing process. The services they order set the stage for billing, and errors at this stage can have cascading effects.
  • Radiologists, in their capacity, should ensure that ordering physicians are well-informed about Medicare-covered conditions.
  • This proactive approach ensures that there's a clear understanding of what services are covered before placing an order, reducing potential hiccups in the billing process.

2. Keeping Abreast with Dictation Requirements:

Dictation in radiology is more than just documenting findings. It’s the foundational step in the billing process. Ensuring that these dictations meet required standards is paramount to avoid denials or delays in reimbursements.

Stay Updated:

  • Medicine, being a dynamic field, sees frequent updates. Radiologists should make it a habit to regularly review and refresh their knowledge about the verbiage requirements necessary to describe exams.
  • Using the right terminology isn’t just about clarity. It can potentially save significant time and money, especially in situations involving appeals or when additional details are sought.

Proactive Communication:

  • A successful billing process requires two-way communication. If radiologists aren’t receiving timely updates or feedback on their dictation from the billing company, it’s essential they take the initiative.
  • Actively seeking feedback helps identify areas of improvement, ensuring that the documentation is up to par and minimizes chances of errors.

Utilize Trusted Resources:

  • In the era of information overload, it's vital to refer to credible and updated sources.
  • Resources such as the latest edition of AMA CPT, CPT Assistant, and Clinical Examples in Radiology are invaluable. They offer insights and guidelines, ensuring radiologists adhere to the most current dictation standards.

3. Periodic Review of Templates and Exam Titles:

Template Relevance: In a fast-paced and constantly advancing medical world, sticking to old methods and templates can be detrimental. It's essential that templates used in radiology reflect the current best practices and any new advancements.

Annual Audits:

  • The dynamism in the medical field mandates a proactive approach.
  • Radiologists should earmark time, at least once a year, to comprehensively revisit and assess their templates. This ensures they are in sync with the latest standards.
  • Additionally, anytime there's a major shift in practice or an introduction of a significant new process, a review becomes imperative.

Stay Relevant:

  • Adapting to changes isn't just about adopting new equipment or techniques; it's about reflecting these changes in every aspect of the practice.
  • For instance, if a department moves from using analog equipment to digital mammography, the templates need to be updated accordingly. This not only maintains accuracy but also ensures that the billing corresponds to the services rendered.

4. Consistent Communication with Your Billing Company:

Seamless Integration: Your billing company acts as an interface between your services and reimbursements. Maintaining a transparent and open line of communication with them is paramount to ensure that the billing processes run smoothly.

Timely Notifications:

  • Changes are inevitable in the medical field. Whenever there's a change in equipment, techniques, or any protocols, it's of utmost importance to inform the billing company promptly.
  • Such proactive communication reduces the chances of billing errors and ensures that the radiology group is reimbursed correctly for the services they provide.

Safety Checks:

  • While the onus of ensuring the accuracy and relevance of information primarily rests with the radiology group, it's beneficial to have an additional layer of verification.
  • The billing company, being well-versed with billing nuances, should serve as this secondary checkpoint. Their expertise can help identify and rectify any oversights, thereby minimizing potential billing discrepancies.

5. Implementing a Robust Process for Report Discrepancies:

Optimal Reporting: In the intricate world of medical billing, discrepancies, however minor, can lead to significant issues. Establishing a robust mechanism to address these is essential for the seamless operation of radiology practices.

Constructive Feedback:

  • A good billing company doesn't just process claims; it plays an advisory role.
  • Radiologists should opt for a billing company that is not just transactional but is also willing to communicate, offer insights, and address any discrepancies. This collaborative approach ensures that common mistakes are identified and rectified.

Quarterly Dictation Opportunities:

  • Regular reviews can significantly reduce the chances of recurring errors. Adonis, leading the way in this practice, offers its clients quarterly sessions specifically tailored to identify and address dictation discrepancies.
  • These sessions not only ensure smooth operations but also optimize the billing processes, ensuring radiologists get reimbursed accurately and in a timely manner.

Embracing Excellence in Radiology Billing

In the intricate web of radiology practices, where precision meets passion, billing stands as a pivotal pillar. Proper billing and coding not only safeguard a practice's financial health but also reflect its dedication to professionalism and patient care. By actively engaging with billing processes, periodically updating practices, and collaborating seamlessly with billing companies like Adonis, radiologists can ensure their focus remains undividedly on their primary passion - radiology. In a world increasingly leaning towards digital sophistication and regulatory complexities, it's these proactive steps that will guarantee a radiology practice's success and sustainability.

To learn more about how Adonis can help you as a healthcare professional, use the calendar link below to schedule a quick demo.

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