Quantifying the Financial Impact of Delayed Adoption of CPT Code Changes in Radiology.
PURPOSE: To quantify the financial effect of delayed reporting of new moderate sedation (MS) Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes at an academic radiology practice, and to identify barriers to timely reporting. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Billing and reimbursement data was collected for a 28-month period (January 1, 2017-April 30, 2019). Reporting of new MS codes was identified and compared to the number of procedures performed by radiology over the study period. Using the number of procedures performed and payment data, losses were estimated. A root cause analysis was then performed to further understand delayed reporting. RESULTS: MS was reported with 2.5% of cases in 2017, 47.8% of cases in 2018 and 69.1% of cases in 2019. Appropriate coding was not achieved until June 2018, equating to a 17-month lag in implementation. Lost revenue from inaccurate reporting of MS alone was $21,357 ± $3,945 per month. Primary barriers to an efficient transition included (1) updating billing systems, (2-5) coder, nursing, technologist, and operator education and coordination, and (6) drafting and vetting new procedural report templates. CONCLUSIONS: Delayed reporting of the new moderate sedation codes resulted in a $363,069 ± $67,065 loss of procedural revenue at an academic radiology practice. Primary drivers of the delay were lags in education and coordination at multiple points in the reporting chain. As healthcare policy shifts and changes to coding become more frequent and significant, timely adoption becomes more salient for radiologists.
Li, G; Pabon-Ramos, W; Taylor, J; Martin, JG
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