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Medical Billing Denials During A Natural Disaster

Medical Billing Denials During A Natural Disaster

Avoiding Medical Billing Denials During A Natural Disaster

Several natural disasters in America have demanded a new medical billing policy. The insufficient relief effort after Hurricane Katrina made everyone want to proactively prepare, should another disaster occur. The healthcare industry has been no exception. A new medical billing condition code and modifier have been created for disaster related care for the present and future.

The two new medical billing codes are DR (Disaster related), and CR (Catastrophe/Disaster Related). DR is a condition code and CR is a new medical billing modifier. All Medicare contractors must use the new codes on claims for August 21, 2005 and after. These medical billing codes are to be used by any facility that sees a patient for a disaster related problem. The location is of no significance. For instance, if a patient is seen in Illinois for Hurricane Katrina care, you would still use DR and CR for medical billing even though the hospital is in the Midwest.

There is one exception to this new medical billing policy. Only institutions should be using either the modifier or the condition code in their medical billing. Durable medical equipment suppliers and physicians should not use the DR condition code, only the CR modifier for their medical billing.

Changes in our country, and in our world have forced the healthcare industry to take action. In order to help payers understand the whole story behind a claim, the new disaster medical billing codes are a necessary. It will also help them understand why significantly more claims come from your facility during disaster times.

Adaptation is the essence of true medical billing. Staff that are able to learn new things and go with the flow will help you make a smooth transition. The only thing constant about medical billing is change.

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