Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Medical Billing Rant

It's been crazy busy at work (which affects home), but I can break the silence with, I think, a work complaint that sheds some light on government and the future of health care.

I work in radiation oncology designing the patients' radiation treatments.

Under Medicare rules (and most insurance companies mimic their rules), if a patient gets a CAT scan today, I can't print out the radiation plan today, or we can't get all the money we would normally receive. If the patient starts treatment tomorrow, I can't print the plan tomorrow or we won't get another fee we're normally entitled to. The only way we can get all we're normally paid is to push the patient's treatment off until Monday.

In this case (and many others) Medicare rules punish efficiency and encourage us to let the patient suffer a little longer.

So I printed the plan today, he'll start tomorrow, and we get the shaft. Thank you, federal government.

(And next year, they may decide to slash all of those payments simply because they can.)

1 comment:

Edwina Andreas said...

Woah, that’s a lot of hassle, Chris! What’s hard about medical billings is it involves an interdisciplinary approach. And oftentimes, the physician and the billing company find it difficult to sort through claims. This issue can be easily solved through proper communication and taking advantage of technology. That way, the patient will be given the right care at the right time, which is the premise behind medical care in the first place.

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