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Using Disaster Related Codes in Medical Billing

Using Disaster Related Codes in Medical Billing

Disasters such as 9/11 and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina have made it apparent that medical billing needs to be able to reflect these unfortunate situations. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued new codes to reflect these conditions. Not all medical billers are aware of them and how to use them.

The new condition code that should be used in medical billing for coding disaster related service claims is DR (disaster related). The new medical billing modifier is CR (Catastrophic/disaster related). Any institution can use either one of these codes, no matter what the location of the facility is.

There is one exception to this rule. Suppliers and physicians should only use the medical billing CR modifier. They should not use the condition code DR. The condition code, DR, should only be used for intermediary billing.

The introduction of the two new codes is a perfect example of medical billing adaptation. Not only do the codes need to adapt to changing needs, but your practice needs to adapt as well. It is important to make it a priority to use these new medical billing codes whenever appropriate. Failure to do so could lead to incorrect payment or nonpayment. Be sure your office personal that handle your medical billing are properly trained on the new policies and procedures otherwise you won’t be receiving maximum reimbursements for the services you provide.

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