By Orly Avitzur, MD, MBA, FAAN, AAN.com Editor-in-Chief
Yesterday's Practice of Neurology: Issues in Coding and Reimbursement session was well received and attendees were able to get answers to critical questions about their neurology practices. The session was basically a "boot camp" for practice basics and expert lecturers—all active volunteers in the efforts to improve the practice landscape for neurologists—covered everything from procedure and diagnosis coding to billing practices, strategic planning, and contract negotiations.
Indeed, the economic environment has us all watching our expenses and looking for ways to preserve incomes and plan for the future. Neurologists were additionally burdened with Medicare's elimination of payment for consult codes starting January 1, 2010. Now we're also faced with the possibility of another 21% cut in payments from Medicare unless Congress acts quickly to reverse this when they return April 12. For now, insurance companies must keep their contractual obligations for both consult reimbursement and fees for the present unless the contract allows them to act unilaterally.
Who knew that choosing a field—whether academic or private practices—for its appeal and patient care opportunities would also require knowledge of business, economics, coding and information systems?