Financial Effect of Unbundling Moderate Sedation from Procedural Codes in Radiology.
PURPOSE: To assess and quantify the financial effect of unbundling newly unbundled moderate sedation codes across major payors at an academic radiology practice. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Billing and reimbursement data for 23 months of unbundled moderate sedation codes were analyzed for reimbursement rates and trends. This included 10,481 and 28,189 units billed and $443,257 and $226,444 total receipts for codes 99152 (initial 15 minutes of moderate sedation) and 99153 (each subsequent 15 minute increment of moderate sedation), respectively. Five index procedures-(i) central venous port placement, (ii) endovascular tumor embolization, (iii) tunneled central venous catheter placement, (iv) percutaneous gastrostomy placement, and (v) percutaneous nephrostomy placement-were identified, and moderate sedation reimbursements for Medicare and the dominant private payor were calculated and compared to pre-bundled reimbursements. Revenue variation models across different patient insurance mixes were then created using averages from 4 common practice settings among radiologists (independent practices, all hospitals, safety-net hospitals, and non-safety-net hospitals). RESULTS: Departmental reimbursement for unbundled moderate sedation in FY2018 and FY2019 totaled $669,701.34, with high per-unit variability across payors, especially for code 99153. Across the 5 index procedures, moderate sedation reimbursement decreased 1.3% after unbundling and accounted for 3.9% of procedural revenue from Medicare and increased 11.9% and accounted for 5.5% of procedural revenue from the dominant private payor. Between different patient insurance mix models, estimated reimbursement from moderate sedation varied by as much as 29.9%. CONCLUSIONS: Departmental reimbursement from billing the new unbundled moderate sedation codes was sizable and heterogeneous, highlighting the need for consistent and accurate reporting of moderate sedation. Total collections vary by case mix, patient insurance mix, and negotiated reimbursement rates.
Li, G; Martin, JG; Taylor, J; Kim, C; Ronald, J; Pabon-Ramos, W
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