Wednesday, February 20, 2013
More ABN discussion
Newsletter from February 18, 2013
“ABN Advanced Notice of Non-coverage”
NOTE: This is the only document in your office that can not be stored electronically. It must stay in the original paper form. Either stored per patient or by date for fast recovery if requested by your Medicare carrier.
It has become my conclusion the ABN in it’s origination has but one primary purpose....to cut reimbursement by the Medicare Carrier. It contains rules that supersede the Federal law of mandatory claim submission. It has led many a Chiropractor down the yellow brick road of “Treating Patient Symptoms” instead of locating and correcting vertebral subluxations like Federal Law indicates.
When a Chiropractor calls the chiropractic adjustment that corrected a vertebral subluxation “Maintenance Care”, and had the patient check Option 2 on the ABN to not bill Medicare because it is called “Maintenance Care” since the patient felt no symptoms...and then collected from the patient, the regular office fee (not the Medicare fee) at the time of visit....Who Got Had?
The consumer (patient) just got cheated out of Medicare reimbursement. They pay over $100 dollar premium for Medicare each month. You say the patient had no symptoms. Consider this, as many as 1,800,000 seniors over the age of 65 may be dependent on Medicare-provided prescription drugs. The average number of prescriptions per year for each senior is 38.5 with the average number of different prescriptions daily being 5 or more.
Most of our patients are on 5, 6, 8, 10 drugs each day....they can not feel their symptoms. And yet, if the patient has no symptoms we just call it “Maintenance Care” and then not bill Medicare. I don’t think so! Our job as Chiropractors is quite clear in Medicare. We do not get paid to “treat” symptoms. We are only paid in Medicare to locate and correct vertebral subluxations.
If the patient have a subluxation and no pain symptoms....How about that subluxation of T6 spinal nerve and the trajectory of that nerve to the stomach, altering the normal function of the stomach. They are already on three prescription drugs for a stomach problem. S.O.A.P. notes shall indicate your findings, and your documentation will support the care given. I recommend, when you correct a vertebral subluxation, call it what it is....The primary job you do, and it is covered by Medicare. Help your patients get reimbursed in Medicare for the Chiropractic covered service of correcting a subluxation.