In medicine, there are many different types of services that physicians do not offer themselves. It’s common for physicians to refer their patients to specialists outside of their practice. While this may seem obvious to some people outside the medical field, it is common for patients to ask their physicians for services they do not provide. Here are five screening services you may not be coding for as a physician:
Obesity can be diagnosed by determining one's Body Mass Index (BMI). The patient must be at least 30 pounds higher than society identifies as usual. There are additional screening methods for obese patients, including a waist measurement or a waist that is more than half the total height. Because obesity is a chronic condition, some patients must get help from others with losing weight, especially if they find it challenging to do so on their own. Services such as treatment programs and behavioral counseling are available to help people with obesity who are trying to lose weight by providing support and guidance.
Physicians are an integral part of cardiovascular disease care, whether it is through a group practice or by themselves. Physicians provide counseling on risk factor management and general lifestyle changes, but only a small percentage of physicians provide intensive behavioral counseling for cardiovascular disease. This type of counseling consists of interventions that physicians have well-established to help people change their behavior on a large scale and bring about positive results on their cardiovascular disease.
Doctors can screen for mood disorders like depression by asking patients questions about their feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and experiences over the past month using tools like Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) or Major Depressive Episode Screen (MSE). After discovering a possible case of depression, the doctor should ask more questions to get a clearer picture of the patient's medical history. Then, the physician can refer the patient for mental health treatment if necessary. However, since there are several aspects involved in the screening, physicians can use medical billing solutions in South Jersey that will allow them to work while they have a team who will take care of the administrative tasks that are needed to be done to ensure patients receive what they deserve.
Some physicians now provide "brief face-to-face behavioral counseling for alcohol misuse." This type of counseling allows the physician to guide patients on how to reduce the amount of alcohol they consume, decrease their risk of abuse, and even help them change their drinking habits to combat addiction. Patients can walk away from these sessions with solid advice that will make a difference in their lives.
Alcohol misuse can lead to various legal and medical problems, but it often goes undetected. However, by asking patients simple questions and considering their responses, physicians can identify patients at risk and provide brief counseling on reducing the risk of harm. This screening could prevent unnecessary consequences and help physicians address risky health behaviors that the patient may otherwise try to conceal.
Many physicians find themselves in business that is not coding or running a practice, but some still need to stay up-to-date on coding. That can be difficult when trying to ensure the clinic stays open and running smoothly, but you also want to keep up with your knowledge.