By Serena Agusto-Cox | News & Views
AACVPR’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) Billing and Coding Workshop enables members to connect with experts, ask questions and stay up to date on Medicare payment changes while earning 4.0 AACVPR continuing education credits. Past workshop participant Brittany Womack, MS, CCRP, ACSM-RCEP, EP-C, EIM3, from Palo Pinto General Hospital, shares how she has incorporated resources and information from the 2023 workshop into her day-to-day work.
News & Views (NV): What motivated you to take AACVPR’s PR Billing and Coding Workshop? What were you hoping to learn?
Brittany Womack (BW): I was motivated to take the workshop to refresh my billing and processes for PR. I have worked in various clinics that function differently, and I wanted to get my information straight from the experts at AACVPR.
I will be opening a PR center over the next year at a rural clinic I am working in, and I needed a good refresher before presenting to the administration.
NV: What practical lessons did you learn from the workshop and which of those lessons were you able to incorporate into your processes?
BW: The information gave me a great refresher on educating clinicians in various clinics and educating my current administration. I work in two locations that function very differently, so it allows me to give them the resources they need to effectively bill for services delivered.
NV: How receptive have the staff been to the changes/suggestions? Did they have any questions or concerns?
BW: Staff were very receptive to the information, and they sent the suggestions and education to the billing department to implement the changes. One change was the implementation of 1:1 codes and the timing aspect for respiratory patients. One of the larger concerns of respiratory care rehabilitation is who can bill the 1:1.
A second concern regarded the new COVID-19 diagnosis criteria being billed under pulmonary rehabilitation coding, instead of respiratory care therapy (RTR).
NV: How did you approach the adoption of these lessons with your staff, managers and patients? What have been some of the tangible outcomes of these new approaches?
BW: The PR Billing and Coding Workshop provided the specific timing and billing codes to actually bill for the PR time provided to each patient. I collaborated with my teams to improve document processes to support enrollment in respiratory care programs to broaden the types of patients seen in that area.
The workshop has given me information about potential revenue for pulmonary and respiratory care, readmission prevention and support for the rural community. I will be presenting to the administration in hopes for an expansion to start a PR center in a much-needed area in North Texas.
NV: Have you implemented the PR Reimbursement Toolkit at your practice? If yes, which elements have been the most successful in your application of them? How so?
BW: I have not formally implemented the PR toolkit, but I am using it as a guide to support the establishment of a PR program.
NV: What do you think the key takeaways are from your efforts to implement what you learned at the PR Billing and Coding Workshop?
BW: I think the main takeaway for me is to always stay up to date with the changes that might be happening at the regulatory level.
All staff working in PR or respiratory care therapy need to understand what services are being delivered and how to bill them properly. I often find that reviewing this information gives me great insight into what kinds of process improvements can be made at each unique clinic.
NV: What advice would you offer others who are looking to improve their own PR billing and coding procedures and practices?
BW: I would most definitely recommend all managers and their teams attend the PR Billing and Coding Workshop together, whether the programs are looking to start a program or are already established. It’s a great opportunity to look at current processes and try to find process improvements within their programs. Pulmonary and respiratory services are underutilized, and more programs are needed.
Register now for the upcoming Pulmonary Rehabilitation Billing and Coding Workshop, taking place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT on March 7, 2024.