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Because medical oncologists provide evaluation and management services as well as expensive chemotherapy drugs and infusion services to their patients, and usually do so without the help of a large hospital or other organization, it's important to get the billing part right. Although the basic processes are similar to that of other specialties, a great deal more is at stake. Failure to fully and accurately bill for oncology drugs and their administration not only means the oncologist isn't being paid for services rendered, it means staff time and pharmaceutical expenses already paid by the physician will not be reimbursed.
Oncologists rely on their billing departments while busy with the practice of medicine. As long as things don't change much month to month, they want to believe everything is okay. This article presents seven key queries physicians should consider for their billing manager or billing service. Exploring these issues and implementing the recommendations offered may cause some discomfort, but implementing them can help assure the financial viability of the practice and serve as a learning experience for all involved. In the immortal words of Ronald Reagan, “Trust but verify!”
The following queries fall in order of priority and where your greatest opportunities for improvement may lie: