Skip to Content

We want template, too

We want template, too

When it comes to getting physicians to properly document for Medicare, power mobility devices aren't the only products that create headaches for providers.

Therapies like oxygen and CPAP also require detailed documentation, which, if not properly noted in the doctor's notes, means that providers won't get paid.

So when CMS in March said it would develop an electronic clinical template for power mobility devices, providers in other markets took notice.

“I think it would be useful in every market,” said Lelia Wilkerson, director of Heritage Medical in Burlington, Iowa. “We educate, educate and educate the doctors, but they are so busy taking care of the patients that whether they have it worded exactly correct for Medicare is not what they are worried about.”

The PMD template, currently under development, will use a series of prompts to guide physicians through the documentation process.

A similar template could work just as well with oxygen and CPAP, and could help address all the different variables that can crop up, said provider Becky Richens.

“If it's a situation where the patient only qualifies during exertion, (the template could say) here are the other tests that you need,” said Richens, an oxygen case manager for Alpine Home Medical Equipment. “There's all of those little things that they are unaware of and it affects the patient down the road because we are not able to bill for their oxygen.”

With less room for subjectivity, a template could even get providers and auditors on the same page, say providers.

“Right now, it's open ended; how do we interpret it as opposed to the guy down the road?” said Sam Jarczynski, president of RxStat in St. Petersburg, Fla. “A template would help to address denials.”

A template could “revolutionize the industry,” says Andrea Stark, but only if it's recognized as part of the medical record.

“In the past, forms and templates have been disregarded and they have stated that, 'If this isn't independently supported in the physician notes, this is invalidated,'” said Stark, a reimbursement consultant with MiraVista in Columbia, S.C. “Otherwise, it's one more hoop to jump through and it's not worth the paper it's written on.”


To comment on this post, please log in to your account or set up an account now.