An Ounce of Prevention
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued its 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule. Coming in at nearly 3,000 pages, the rule finalizes many significant additions and changes in areas including remote services, care management services, and preventive services. Below we highlightsome of the most notable developments.Prevounce CEO Daniel Tashnek, JD, will explorethese and other takeaways from the final rule during a webinar on Thursday, November 16, at 2:00 PM EST, which you can register for here.
You schedule a patient's first Medicare annual wellness visit (AWV). The patient comes into your organization, or perhaps you meet via telehealth. You furnish the AWV, seemingly checking all the boxes necessary to deliver this critical yearly appointment that helps prevent illness and get your organization paid. And yet a few weeks after submitting your claim to Medicare for the service, it's denied. The reason: You incorrectly used HCPCS code G0438. Denials can lead to increased days in accounts receivable, write-off rates, and overall cost to collect, among other headaches. A study revealed thatmany AWVs conducted and billed may fail to meet compliance requirements set forth by CMS, which can trigger denials or more serious ramifications. If you want to better ensure that your annual wellness visit claims are not denied, you must know how to properly code them. In this piece, we provide you with the HCPCS codes you need to use for annual wellness visits. We also share guidance that should help reduce the likelihood that your organization will experience denials associated with this service and another service commonly associated with the AWV that may trip you up: the initial preventive physician examination (IPPE).
As a practitioner, you understand how beneficial a cardiovascular risk assessment is for your patients. While assessing and treating your patient's cardiac risk factors is beneficial, it can eat up one of your most valuable resources: time. Finding time-saving tools that you can trust and rely on forcompliance and accuracy is almost as important as performing the risk assessment itself.
Diabetes is quickly becoming one of the more prolific chronic diseases in the United States. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that diabetes has climbed up the cause of death rankings in recent years and is now the number seven most common cause of death. Diabetes affects more than 37 million Americans. This translates to about 11% of the U.S. population who need to deal with the health-related fallout of diabetes, costing them both health and life longevity as well as billions of dollars.
In a recent blog, we described preventive services as "The Missing Link to Wellness." Research backs this claim up, showing that preventive services have the potential to dramatically reduce healthcare spending, improve economic output by billions of dollars, and save tens of thousands of lives. To help you better appreciate why preventive services should be offered by your practice and what to know before proceeding with adding such an offering, here is some of the essential information to understand about the preventive services Medicare covers. Want to learn more about providing and getting paid for preventive services? Check out our detailed guide!
When COVID-19 hit, it hit hard — mentally, physically, and financially. The initial impact left by the virus was far reaching, wreaking havoc on the health and financial wellness of nearly every American. Among healthcare providers, one of the groups that took a big hit early on was primary care providers (PCPs). COVID-19 risk, fear, and uncertainty contributed to the lockdowns that directly impacted PCPs' bottom lines and productivity. They were forced to postpone what were deemed unnecessary patient visits, including the Medicare annual wellness visit (AWV), and scramble to piece together creative pathways for safe, socially distanced care that could also generate enough of a continuous stream of incoming revenue to keep practices afloat amid the pandemic's storm.
From its creation in 1984, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has been a significant influence in healthcare, helping to recommend and determine the most beneficial and effective clinical preventive services. With the goal of creating a positive impact on the health of all Americans, the Preventive Services Task Force reviews and updates existing clinical preventive service guidelines and evaluates new preventive service recommendations. Through the diligent work of USPSTF, practitioners are armed with the most reliable and current clinical prevention tactics available, helping them to create a positive and lasting impact on the health and wellness of their patients. Want to learn more about providing and getting paid for preventive services? Check out our detailed guide! Or read on to learn about six things you should know about the Preventive Services Task Force.
This quick guide from Prevounce provides brief background information on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and then identifies ACA preventive services and the CPT codes that correspond with each service. Along with the CPT codes, the guide identifies patient eligibility for each service. When listing all associated CPT codes would be impractical for a guide of this nature, we have provided a link to a webpage that provides the CPT codes you should use. Want to learn more about providing and getting paid for preventive services? Check out our detailed guide!
For practitioners, preventive services, such as Medicare's annual wellness visit (AWV), are an important offering and should be a significant part of the day-to-day operations of every primary care practice. When furnished effectively and appropriately, preventive services are typically no cost to patients, encourage improved patient health and wellness outcomes, and increase practice revenue while decreasing practitioner risk — all while positively impacting our nation's out-of-control annual healthcare spending. Want to learn more about providing and getting paid for preventive services? Check out our detailed guide!
Research from leading expert organizations confirm time and time again the importance and effectiveness of preventive screenings and exams. Yet why are practitioners still having difficulty meeting this relatively inexpensive need for their patients? One argument is that payers place too many obstacles in the way, over-incentivizing reactive care and making the provision of preventive services difficult for practitioners to provide. Another argument is that patients may not be aware they are eligible to receive such services, often at no cost to them, and do not ask about what such services are available. A final argument is that, as a society, we are so focused on taking care of our over-abundance of chronically ill people that practitioners simply lack the time to flip the healthcare paradigm to a preventive care model. It's probably reasonable to assume that all the above play some role in the underutilization of preventive services. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supports this notion, citing a lack in implementation on the behalf of practitioners. Want to learn more about providing and getting paid for preventive services? Check out our detailed guide!