Reimbursement Changes Require Better Reporting from Surgeons


Monday, January 29
4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Rooms 301-302

Scott C. Silvestry, MD

Cardiothoracic surgeons spend years learning and honing skills related to surgery, but most spend relatively little time studying the business side of medicine. That may be about to change. New reimbursement rules are forcing changes in the day-to-day activities of surgeons who must now place more emphasis on documentation, coding, and data collection.

“Daily billing needs are emerging as more important, and they will play a role in the future,” said Scott C. Silvestry, MD. “Understanding what a physician has to do in terms of documenting their visits and potentially billing for these visits is emerging as an important skill set.”

Dr. Silvestry is the moderator of a new session designed to teach surgeons the nuances of documenting all aspects of their work. Presenters will explain how to note the complexity of the case, the number of patient visits, time spent on a case, and the effort required by the surgeon.

“If you are going to write it once, it should reflect the amount of work that you put in and use the appropriate words so that the coders can record the appropriate credit for your work, as well as the complexity of the illness,” said Dr. Silvestry, a member of the STS Workforce on Coding and Reimbursement. “We will address how that is done in the current environment.”

The session’s speakers will explain reimbursement requirements, the documentation needed for medical necessity, diagnosis, and services rendered.

“This session will provide the start of competency toward a more productive interaction with one’s coders, coding applications, and hospital data personnel,” Dr. Silvestry said. “Attendees will leave with a good idea of the current requirements for documentation.”