Newly-Covered Preventive Services: Are Docs in the Dark?

In just one month, as a part of health care reform, many more preventive services will be covered by health insurance.  Have the care providers been left out of the information loop?

I find it odd that I, a provider of many of these newly covered services, have received not one communication (letter or otherwise) about the changes.

Patients will certainly ask physicians about the new insurance coverage requirements.  What are we to tell them?  Since the changes are to take effect so soon, it would seem that  I should already know the criteria for coverage.  Do I just claim ignorance and tell everyone to call their insurance company?

Are my chart documentation, coding or billing supposed to change in any way to accommodate the new coverage?  Surely there will be boxes for me to check or special forms to fax–there always are.  I can’t believe that it will simply be business as usual.

Personally, I think that coverage of these services is a great thing.  I have always had tremendous respect for the USPSTF guidelines upon which the new coverage is based.

But am I the only doc in the dark?

Stephen Meyers, MD

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