Tuesday, November 11, 2008

1,170 Angioplasty Codes

It's coming to a billing system near you.

And why do we need so many? Well, because:
"... under the new system, medical practitioners can choose among 1,170 coded descriptions that pinpoint such factors as the location and the device involved for each patient."
Or how about this reason:
"Hospitals, insurance companies and many doctors say the planned coding system is necessary to keep up with the host of new medical developments that emerge every year."
"Many" doctors? What the...? There is NO WAY "many" doctors are advocating for this. What does "many" mean in this context? While "many" can mean more than one doctor, I hardly think it means the majority. What doctor, in their right mind, wants to become a bureaucratic sycophant for the insurance industry?

Let's be clear here: this coding scheme is not sanctioned by "many" doctors except those that have crossed the health care employment boundary as hospital administrators.

This coding extravaganza will cost time, money and resources as physicians and their patients scramble to unlock the intricacies of the scheme to assure their patients receive health care. The system is sure to result in increased billing errors:
Some medical-industry officials also are concerned that consumers could see, at least initially, an increase in billing errors. That can lead, for example, to overcharging of patients, or an insurer denying payment for a claim because it was submitted with an incorrect code. Some officials also expect an increase in billing fraud and more delays in payments to doctors and consumers.
Trust me, "many" doctors do not want this.

-Wes

1 comment:

Mason said...

Wow. Just wow.

No wonder front-line doctors have such morale problems.

A bit of a non sequitur here but the legal system in this country needs to be reformed. I've read only a few of your posts but insurance and liability issues seem to be crippling doctors. And on the flip side I hear plenty of cases where incompetent doctors are never barred from practive thanks to their connections.