Accurate diagnosis can have a significant impact on the midwifery practice's claim for billing. It is evident to us that coding and billing are among the most crucial elements in every midwifery clinic. The accuracy within each of them is essential to ensure the safety of patients, quick payments and effective operations.
Historically speaking midwives, other health care providers and payers were on the same page' with regard to fee-for-service reimbursements. Midwives performed a task and the they earned the payment. Simple and straightforward. However, with reforms in healthcare is the requirement for health care professionals to be precise and thorough in the diagnosis codes they use. The shift to pay-for-performance (P4P) programs, originally initiated by the CMS, but increasingly adopted by private payers, demands this accuracy. Along with offering incentives to Midwives for providing quality care, there are now penalties for midwives and other health care professionals who may not be offering patient care of acceptable quality. With this reform, accurate diagnosis became a top priority in order for midwives to claim bills accurately, here’s the reasons why.
Accuracy Was Always an Issue
While accurately recording diagnosis codes has always been important, until P4P programs, many payers accepted marginally thorough supporting information to approve claims and pay providers. The new emphasis on claims clarity often proves to be challenging for midwives and billing staff, particularly for those providers not in the habit of submitting fully documented reimbursement claims.
In the past, claims with faulty diagnosis codes typically were denied. Yet, some insufficiently explained claim submissions slipped through and were approved. If payer claim reviewers were hurried into claim examinations, it was always possible that some submissions that could have had payers ‘scratching their heads’ were approved.
However, most of the diagnosis coding rules have changed. Accuracy, always a factor, has become the primary component of claims approval. Along with approved/rejected decisions, medical providers now face quality care issues, requiring further justification and explanation to eliminate payer confusion.
Proper Diagnosis Critical for Payment
Some midwives and billing personnel seem forgetful that Medicare Advantage plans pay, in part, as a function of the number and severity of sickness in the total population of patients. CMS calculates variable per month payments based on the levels of the ‘sick’ population. Some private payers are endorsing this approach, demanding that physician diagnosis coding ‘fits’ the matrix.
While some midwives during the fee-for-service era always went the extra mile to fully explain their diagnostic coding and process, many other providers, often because of billing staff time constraints, neglected to thoroughly document their diagnosis procedures. However, providers now risk facing claim denials with P4P programs if payer review staff is unsure that the doctor performed diagnostic services that were necessary to design a treatment plan.
Accurate and thorough coding for chronic conditions is another prime area of payer scrutiny. ICD-9 guidelines require providers to use these codes ‘as often as applicable’ when treating chronic conditions. P4P quality care evaluation depends on proper use of these codes. The penalty consequences of taking coding ‘shortcuts’ can result in lower income for the midwife.
These are some of the reasons that using accurate diagnosis codes are critical for maximum claim approvals and CMS decisions that physician care qualifies as meeting quality guidelines. The strong focus on procedural diagnostic coding accuracy is here—possibly affecting your compliance and income levels.
Accurate diagnosis coding, backed up by thorough documentation regarding the necessity of diagnostic procedures, is no longer a payer ‘luxury.’ Accuracy and clarity are now a necessity for all physicians. Achieving this result typically demands some combination of the following actions.
Midwives and other healthcare practices using these tips should remain in HIPAA, CMS and P4P compliance, maintain or increase revenue and create evidence of delivering quality care to all patients. Properly using diagnosis codes and supporting your diagnostic procedures with valid documentation will achieve these results.
Diagnosis coding has taken center stage in medical billing. Coronis. (n.d.). Retrieved September 29, 2022, from https://www.coronishealth.com/blog/diagnosis-coding-has-taken-center-stage-in-medical-billing/
Insurance fraud is any act made to deceive an insurance procedure. It occurs when a claimant attempts to obtain some benefit or advantage they are not entitled to, or when an insurer knowingly denies some benefit that is due. It is also a deliberate deception perpetrated against or by an insurance company or agent for the purpose of financial gain. Fraud may be committed at different points by applicants, policyholders, third-party claimants, or professionals who provide services to claimants. Insurance agents and company employees may also commit insurance fraud. Common frauds include “padding,” or inflating claims; misrepresenting facts on an insurance application; submitting claims for injuries or damage that never occurred; and staging accidents.
People who commit insurance fraud include:
Inside the healthcare industry lies good opportunity for insurance fraud as well. Insurance fraud causes tens of billions of dollars in losses each year. It can raise health insurance premiums, expose you to unnecessary medical procedures, and increase taxes. If you’re in the healthcare industry, you must learn to identify what are the common types of healthcare and insurance fraud.
Common types of healthcare and insurance fraud:
1. Fraud Committed by Medical Providers
How to Prevent Insurance Fraud?
The Affordable Care Act of 2010 included fraud-fighting efforts, such as allowing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to exclude providers who lie on their applications from enrolling in Medicare and Medicaid and the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act, which requires agencies to conduct recovery audits for programs every three years and develop corrective action plans for preventing future fraud and waste.
Other efforts included:
Additionally, in 2012, HHS and the Department of Justice formed the National Fraud Prevention Partnership to combat health care fraud. The group also consists of private and public groups such as health care companies and their organizations, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association. The groups will share information on claims from Medicare, Medicaid. and private insurance to be administered by a third-
Fraudulent acts have no escape with the law. Whether you’re a healthcare provider trying to slip away money from your clients, or a client who doesn’t one to compensate the services provided to you. Either way, one must be vigilant enough to take part in protecting his/her right and preventing these things to happen. Keep all your records intact and avoid providing your information to anyone asking for it. Always verify, verify, verify!
Background on: Insurance fraud. III. (n.d.). Retrieved June 18, 2022, from https://www.iii.org/article/background-on-insurance-fraud
Through the years, the field of midwifery as a profession has been the subject of a variety of misconceptions that can go as far as the idea of comparing midwives to quacks. Even today, the job of a midwife can be misinterpreted as simply helping births. Often times, midwives experience misconception about the true quality of service they provide, as it is not only vital for all women and newborns to access care – it is critical that this care is of a sufficient quality to provide a safe and positive childbirth experience, and that it is provided with respect and dignity.
Midwives should be recognized for the excellent the services they provide. It's not a flimsy hoax. There are a few reasons to believe it;
Ways To Increase Awareness
Midwifery is proficient, educated, and compassionate care for childbearing women, newborn babies, and families throughout the pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and the early weeks of life. Indeed, midwives are valuable sector of the society and that they need to receive the recognition they deserve.
Barker, J. (2021, February 13). Midwives do not get the recognition they deserve! Blog About Midwives & Doulas. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from https://www.fruitfulwombs.com/midwives-do-not-get-the-recognition-they-deserve/#:~:text=The%20Pros%20For%20Midwifery%3A&text=Quality%20midwifery%20care%20is%20essential,interchangeable%20with%20women%2Dcentered%20care.
The implementation of Affordable Care Act (ACA) has greatly influenced the healthcare industry across United States. Study shows that ACA has reduced the number of uninsured people to historically low levels and helped more people access health care services, especially low-income people and people of color. However, the law’s effects on the cost and quality of health care services are difficult to discern given the complexity of our health system.
Since its passage, midwives gained opportunities to provide better maternal health access to mothers as the ACA helped to improve the quality of coverage for pregnant and birthing people by requiring individual and small group plans, as well as Medicaid expansion plans, to cover maternity and newborn care.
What is Affordable Care Act?
Signed into law on March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains numerous provisions impacting a wide range of health care related issues. The overarching goals of the legislation were to increase the number of people with insurance coverage, improve the design of existing policies, and increase the quality of care provided in the U.S., all while taking significant steps to control costs.
Key issues for midwives include:
Under the law, all individual and small employer insurance plans, including those you get through the Marketplace, must cover maternity and newborn care -- before and after your baby is born.* In the past, most plans sold outside your job didn’t offer much maternity coverage. Some didn't cover it at all.
The ACA doesn't spell out all of the specific benefits that must be covered while you're pregnant and after the baby is born. But many preventive care services must be covered without extra out-of-pocket costs, like co-pays, co-insurance, or deductibles. For mothers, that includes preventive services for preconception and prenatal care and well-baby check-ups plus comprehensive lactation support, counseling, and breastfeeding equipment. Listed below are the codes included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that midwives can bill as they provide services.
2. GONORRHEA SCREENING LAB TEST*
3. HIV SCREENING LAB TEST*
4. SYPHILIS SCREENING LAB TEST*
5. BEHAVIORAL COUNSELING TO PREVENT SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS(If the patient has sign, symptom, or has been exposed to an infection, use appropriate ICD-10 code and 99201–99215)
6. CONTRACEPTIVE COUNSELING(If the patient has a side effect from current method or menstrual irregularity, use ICD-10 code for sign or symptom and 99201–99215. When a patient presents with a problem, it is not appropriate to report a preventive CPT code)
7. WELL WOMAN VISIT(Some payers expect that many of these ACA preventive services—counseling, screening, and immunizations—occur during the annual preventive exam and may not reimburse separately for these on the same day or at subsequent visits.)
8. HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS (HPV) VACCINATIONS
(If not administered during an annual wellness exam, some payers will also reimburse for an office visit)
9. HPV DNA LAB TESTING
10. HEPATITIS (Hep) A IMMUNIZATION (If not administered during an annual wellness exam, some payers will also reimburse for an office visit)
11. HEPATITIS (Hep) B IMMUNIZATION I(If not administered during an annual wellness exam, some payers will also reimburse for an office visit.)
12. Sexually transmitted infection prevention counseling
Adviser, C. S. S., Seeberger, C., Adviser, S., Director, M. C. A., Coleman, M., Director, A., Shepherd Director, M., Shepherd, M., Director, Director, E. L. A., Lofgren, E., Gordon Director, P., Gordon, P., Director, J. P. S., Parshall, J., Director, S., Williamson, H., Taylor, J., Tausanovitch, A., … Conner, A. (2022, June 9). Building on the ACA: Administrative actions to improve maternal health. Center for American Progress. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from https://www.americanprogress.org/article/building-aca-administrative-actions-improve-maternal-health/
Affordable care act (ACA) - glossary. Glossary | HealthCare.gov. (n.d.). Retrieved September 28, 2022, from https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/affordable-care-act/
Lamboley, L. (2022, September 19). List of Aca Preventive Services and CPT codes [Prevounce Quick Guide]. Prevounce Blog. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from https://blog.prevounce.com/list-of-aca-preventive-services-and-cpt-codes-prevounce-quick-guide
List of Aca Preventive Services and CPT Codes - Std Tac. (n.d.). Retrieved September 28, 2022, from http://stdtac.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/List-of-ACA-Preventative-Services-and-CPT-Codes-_STDTAC.pdf