Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Should Medical Coding Be Taught During Residency?

J Drugs Dermatol; 2018 Jun; Blecher, Halverstam, et al

Due to frequent changes in medical coding systems, billing for outpatient visits through evaluation and management (E&M) services has become increasingly complicated. As a result, physicians often bill improperly, costing the US health care system billions of dollars annually. According to a recent study, however, many dermatology residents were able to correctly answer questions that tested their basic knowledge of E&M coding. In this analysis, a questionnaire was distributed to dermatology programs in the US consisting of questions pertaining to didactic education for, experience with, and resident knowledge of medical coding and billing. Researchers found:

  • 138/443 dermatology residents participated (31.2% response rate).
  • 79% of residents reported receiving some type of formal training.
  • Nearly 89% reported personally billing patient visits to some degree, with 41.3% billing for 100% of outpatient visits.
  • >75% of residents were able to answer basic billing questions and 70% correctly billed a patient visit when given a complex clinical scenario.
  • Despite these results, only 37% of residents reported feeling confident in their billing abilities.
  • Lastly, 94.9% of respondents believed medical coding and billing should be integrated into dermatology training curriculums.

Citation:

Blecher K, Halverstam C, Rzepecki AK, McLellan BN. A national survey of medical coding and billing training in United States dermatology residency programs. J Drugs Dermatol. 2018;17(6):678-682.

This Week's Must Reads

ALT-70 Gets High Marks for Diagnosing Cellulitis, J Am Acad Dermatol; ePub 2018 Jul 9; Li, et al

MMS/MART-1 Immunostaining for Atypical Melanocytes, J Am Acad Dermatol; ePub 2018 Jul 9; Etzkorn, et al

Economic Analysis of Noninvasive Pathologic Assay, JAMA Dermatology; ePub 2018 Jul 11; Hornberger, et al

Use of Advanced Practice Professionals on the Rise, JAMA Dermatology; ePub 2018 Jul 11; Zhang, et al

Folate and Risk of Cutaneous Melanoma in Women, Cancer Epidemiol; 2018 Aug; Dhana, Ten, Li, et al

Must Reads in Medical Dermatology

Should Medical Coding Be Taught During Residency?, J Drugs Dermatol; 2018 Jun; Blecher, Halverstam, et al

Use of UV Radiation for Medical, Cosmetic Purposes, J Clin Aesthet Dermatol; 2018 Feb; Sampson, et al

Racial Disparity Found in Mycosis Fungoides, J Am Acad Dermatol; ePub 2017 Jun 20; Su, et al