As with every New Year, change is coming. Over the years, radiology billing has experienced a number of changes, specifically in regards to coding. This year is no different, as there are new codes to learn and more codes to bundle. We’ve put together an overview of the changes from 2015 to 2016 to help your healthcare practice prepare for what’s coming next.
Recap of 2015 Radiology Billing Changes
Radiology billing experienced two – along with those ICD-10 brought – common coding modifications in 2015. These new coding changes, like others, were anticipated to impact organizational reimbursements if not implemented properly. These coding changes included bundling of codes that were most common and creating new codes for clarification on diagnoses and procedures. Diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology were the two areas of radiology billing t most affected by 2015 billing changes.
Radiology Billing Changes Coming in 2016
Forty new and bundled radiology and oncology codes are likely to be implemented in 2016. These new codes have been created to help identify miscoded or confusing services. The newly bundled codes are being implemented because nearly 75% of the time they’re used, they are being billed together. These updated radiology codes are for very specific procedures that in some cases do not yet have a code to use for billing. Diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology, nuclear medicine, radiation oncology are among the main radiology areas encountering new coding changes.
Preparing and Adapting to New Changes
New coding and billing requirements can mean new mistakes, and with mistakes come inaccurate reimbursements; it can be a dangerous and vicious cycle – avoid it! To be prepared for these coding changes and to help your practice adapt, it is important to inform your providers of the upcoming changes, and offer trainings to help make a smoother transition to the new changes. If you haven’t, consider outsourcing the management of radiology revenue cycle for your organization. This puts less pressure on your medical physicians to learn the codes and avoid mistakes. Rather, allow trained RCM experts to oversee and manage your radiology billing and revenue cycles. If you’re already outsourcing, consider making a switch to a more complete RCM company, this can further increase profitability.
Change is inevitable, and in most cases it brings good things. The best way to get along with change is to prepare for it when possible. Knowing what’s coming, what to expect, and how to adapt often results in the most effective outcome. Consider what’s best for your radiology billing, and take steps now on to ensure your practice will not only be ready, but succeed.