Society Vets Look to Make Coding More Comfortable

July 14, 2017

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Programs on billing and coding at the Society’s annual conference and other educational venues always attract big crowds. “We always have some people who are new to the field and have some questions and/or want to optimize billing and coding. Other, more experienced practitioners want to make sure they are billing appropriately and aren’t over coding,” says Charles Crecelius, MD, PhD, CMD, who often speaks at these programs. He adds, “There are always some nuances and changes to the codes that people want to catch up on.”

On July 19th, Dr. Crecelius will team with fellow Society veterans Bob Zorowitz, MD, CMD, and Alva “Buzz” Baker, MD, CMD, for a webinar on “Billing and Coding for Chronic Care Management and Other Emerging Issues in PA/LTC.” With these new codes, says Dr. Crecelius, “It’s more important than ever to participate in this program and get the latest information on this ever-evolving topic.” He adds, “We want to help people learn how to use these codes correctly and appropriately.” The ultimate purpose, he notes, is to “improve patient care and promote effective value-based care.”

This webinar will provide updates to billing codes, including Chronic Care Management (CCM) and Complex CCM that have recently been approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) including their use in the nursing home setting. Participants will learn the requirement changes for these codes, including changes for submitting claims. The session will also review and explore the finer points of some classic billing and coding enigmas that continue to be challenging for many PA/LTC practitioners.

Dr. Crecelius observes that practitioners are often hesitant to bill for services with these codes because they worry about using them improperly. “We’ve all heard horror stories about practitioners who were penalized for improper coding,” he says. He admits that Medicare “is watching us.” However, he adds, “If you’re doing everything right, you have nothing to fear.” He hopes that the webinar will help give practitioners more confidence about their ability to use codes properly and stay in compliance with regulations—while getting reimbursed appropriately for their services.

No stranger to presenting programs for Society and other audiences, Dr. Crecelius says that webinars have the advantage of questions/comments being posted as he is talking. “This gives me a sense of what the audience is most interested in, and I can adjust my presentation accordingly.” However, he also likes the face-to-face interactions he gets with live programs. “The two types of presentations are like strawberry and chocolate ice cream—they’re different but both enjoyable,” he says.

Dr. Crecelius urges webinar participants to bring their questions about coding for the presenters to address. He notes that they welcome all questions and says, “I love it when someone asks a question I can’t answer and I have to look it up. In many respects, we teach each other at these programs—that is exciting.” He also notes that the Society is looking to compile some best practices for using the CCM codes, and he invites practitioners to share these as well. “If you have best practices or examples of how you utilize these codes with your team, we want to hear those.”

Over the years, Dr. Crecelius has dedicated much of his time to his profession and the Society he loves. As a veteran practitioner, he is pleased to see a new group of professionals coming up through the ranks; and he is optimistic about the future of post-acute and long-term care medicine. He says, “The young practitioners are so enthusiastic. It’s so great to see them wanting to make a difference and willing to volunteer and get involved in the Society.” Looking forward, he sees the organization getting more inclusive. “We want to welcome everyone who enjoys caring for older people, and we want this to be your professional home.”

As always, this webinar is FREE for Society members. Click here to register or for more information.