Whitney Palmer

Healthcare. Politics. Family.

Radiology’s Role in Determining Medical Necessity

Published on the July 28, 2016, DiagnosticImaging.com website

By Whitney L.J. Howell

Recently, a New Jersey court handed down a decision that could potential change the role radiologists play when it comes to determining the medical necessity of a study ordered by a referring physician.

Although the current ruling only applies to New Jersey radiologists, industry experts are talking about how it could possibly affect your responsibilities, daily work flow, and liabilities.

The Case
Allstate Insurance brought suit against radiologists who conducted MRIs and X-rays on patients who had submitted personal injury claims. The company argued the providers had not completed their due diligence in checking into whether these studies were warranted, suing to recoup $200,000 of expenditures.

Company lawyers asserted the radiologists were the imaging center’s medical directors and, therefore, bore the responsibility of verifying medical necessity. The radiologists countered that the chiropractors and other referring physicians who send them patients satisfy the state’s requirement of being “verified” providers. But, the judge ultimately ruled the onus of ensuring proper clinical evidence exists to support medical necessity and appropriateness lies with the radiologist.

According to Greg Nicola, MD, treasurer of the Radiological Society of New Jersey, the organization is filing an appeal of the ruling. The American College of Radiology (ACR) also considers the case to be unique – one that will likely only bind New Jersey radiologists, said Tom Hoffman, JD, the ACR’s associate general counsel.

“The lesson remains to realize that the radiologists aren’t in the driver’s seat about medical necessity decisions because they don’t interact daily with the patient,” Hoffman said. “They’re hard pressed to have all the sufficient clinical background on a patient.”

To read the remainder of the article at its original location: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/practice-management/radiology-role-determining-medical-necessity

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August 3, 2016 - Posted by | Healthcare | , , , , , ,

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