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March 2, 2022

What’s New in Anesthesia? An Interview with Soneaqua Flanagan

March 2, 2022

Soneaqua Flanagan joined the Medical Business Management team in November of 2000. Before this, she had several years of experience working in hospitals and other medical billing companies. With over 30 years of experience in healthcare management and 22 years at MBM, she is nothing short of an expert. 

Soneaqua is a Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Professional Biller (CPB™), and Certified Professional Coding Instructor (CPC-I). She’s also currently working on her Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis on Healthcare Management. 

Between serving clients, taking classes, and being an irreplaceable part of our MBM team, we were able to sit down with Soneaqua and talk about what’s new in anesthesia billing and coding this year and what this means for anesthesia providers. 

 

Taking a Client-Centered Approach

Soneaqua is the Director of Revenue, which means she is involved in all aspects of billing, coding, and medical procedure to generate cash flow for providers. 

Most importantly, she is passionate about her job and serving clients. “I’ve always believed when you do what you love, it doesn’t feel like just a job. And that’s what it is for me.”

MBM takes a very client-centered, client-focused approach in all aspects of their business. It’s not just about knowing how anesthesia providers can get paid for their services but finding other avenues that CRNAs and anesthesiologists can use to generate even more revenue. MBM desires to help anesthesia providers increase their revenue and stay abreast of changes while yielding off fraud and protecting clients from problematic situations. 

“Our clients went to school so they could practice medicine and treat patients, not so they could learn every financial detail relevant in the medical field. But they still need to know it. And that’s where we come in. We are a knowledge base and resource for creating a prominent revenue stream, so they can focus on their passions -- helping their patients.”

 

What’s New In Anesthesia?

These changes in anesthesia billing and coding are determined in part by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Office of Inspector General (OIG), and the American Medical Association (AMA)

Each year medical codes and reimbursements are evaluated for the amounts paid relative to the services. Is insurance overpaying or underpaying for a service based on the amount of time it takes? Fraud and abuse are other factors that impact these changes. Every year the OIG evaluates misrepresentation of services to change the scope of practice. 

This year's changes have a much more significant impact on anesthesia. For the first time in a while, there are new codes for anesthesia. Two codes have also been deleted. There are also new rules about pain procedures that benefit pain providers, as they can serve patients better when anesthesia is involved. 

See everything that’s new in anesthesia here. 

 

What Does This Mean for Anesthesia Providers?

What hasn’t changed is that since anesthesia services are paid based on the time it takes to provide anesthesia, using these codes correctly determines how much revenue you receive. 

The two deleted codes were considered more generic, and were replaced with six more specific codes, namely for spinal procedures. Now, instead of naming a service as a spinal procedure, the provider will have to know and specify which area of the spine was treated. You’ll also need to document whether you used Image-Guiding or not. 

Most importantly, don’t miss dollars because you don’t document. The more you document about your anesthesia service, the more the coder can use this information for higher and more accurate reimbursement. Even if it may seem insignificant or not relevant to the procedure, such as systemic disease or health habits, any additional information is in your benefit. More specificity means more money in your pocket! 

 

Increase Your Revenue Cycle With MBM

If you have questions about your anesthesia billing or documentation, here are two essential questions: Are you losing money? Can you pass an audit?

If you’re unsure about your answer to either question, we can help. We see providers all the time who are unintentionally losing revenue because of their documentation. We have been conducting audits for anesthesia providers for over 30 years, finding money leaks and helping address them. We can discover where the issues are and provide the solution! 

Contact us here for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. 

We want to make it clear that we have our clients back through everything. What you do is invaluable to the people you serve, and we want to ensure you’re getting the best return for your time. We also work when you work! If you have concerns early in the mornings or on the weekends, our team is always available to take your call. Contact us today to learn more!

 

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