Coding for consults: Physicians must have a better option

February 1, 2010

Single-payer, government-run health care: I can't wait! Twelve years of post-grad training for this?

Regarding the article, "Urology takes heavy hit in 2010 Medicare updates", so what is CMS's response to the coding issue for consults? One, do away with consult codes entirely, and two, hire "bounty hunters" (aka Recovery Audit Contractors) to harass physicians who are already laboring under inadequate fee schedules.

At present, the consult codes are replaced with the new visit codes, which are reimbursed at substantially lower rates. So a major revenue reduction is imminent. We now have two sets of records side by side: one to help us actually treat patients coherently and two to qualify for whatever code we use.

Single-payer, government-run health care: I can't wait! Twelve years of post-grad training for this? These two events are additional examples of the need for single, appropriate fees for new and follow-up visits. Our societies should consider supporting this option.

Jack Francis, MD

Greenbelt, MD