A benefit of being a doctor is the opportunity to see patients improve while treating them. Most patients are quite grateful for the constant support and will return for more treatment if their conditions are exacerbated or new problems develop.
However, receiving payment for services rendered is a different story. Today’s healthcare practitioners have to be quite savvy in the business aspect of their practice. How can a doctor enjoy the pleasures of treating patients, limit liabilities, contain costs and maintain a reasonable steady increase in revenue? One answer today can be found in diagnostic radiology.
Chiropractic doctors perform systematic and thorough physical examinations using methods, techniques, and instruments standard across all healthcare professions: X-rays, MRI, PET and CT scans are essential parts of a practice. However, another imaging service available is Digital Radiographic Mensurations. It is often referred to as a “computerized enhancement” and “digital analysis” of plain film radiographs.
Spinal X-rays are taken when a comprehensive history and thorough examination have determined probable musculoskeletal involvement. The results from the analysis of X-rays that have been digitized and analyzed produce an outcome assessment process that helps establish the following:
a) A chiropractic diagnosis for the correction of specific motions’ segment and functional units.
b) A scale to assess the patient’s current conditions, compare serial studies, and determine maximum clinical improvement.
c) Help provide a specific treatment plan with the clinical goal of restoration of the functional biomechanics.
d) Provide a unique graphical information format of the patient’s biomechanical findings for reference during each treatment session.
These will clearly help the doctor determine the need for treatment, the type of treatment to be administered, and monitor changes during treatment resulting from any re-injury.
A comprehensive Digital Radiographic Mensuration should include three reports: Biomechanical, Pathology and Digitized analysis. Well-referenced Biomechanical reports produced by patented advanced technology are recognized by some of the most notable institutions in the country. Those including impairment ratings per the latest edition of the American Medical Association’s Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment help justify medical necessity. Multiple studies have shown X-rays read by board certified radiologists gather a much greater amount of information and are able to deliver more extensive pathology reports and data analysis. Digitized analysis reports, especially those with the patient’s actual images imprinted onto photographic paper, provide a superior tool to better educate patients and attorneys.
Patients, by nature, are mostly visual people who understand pictures and graphs. A patient’s X-ray images, when printed onto photographic paper with mensuration lines and statistical analysis graphs displayed next to normal spine images, illustrate to them their biomechanical differences as well as structural improprieties. This gives the patient information that will motivate him to continue treatment and comply with further recommendations. In addition to increased patient retention and compliance, the potential for lawsuits is lowered due to the fact that the patients have been well informed with documented references and research data about the necessity of their treatment protocols.
One major complaint by doctors’ billing offices is the demand by insurance companies for detailed documentation to justify medical necessity. The general medical profession and third party payors do not quite understand the vertebral subluxation complex. By using the documentation from objective detailed reports provided with a comprehensive Digital Radiographic Mensuration and Analysis, insurance companies will not only approve longer treatment but also reimburse with greater compliance.
Digital analysis of spinal X-ray films is a tremendous diagnostic resource available to help today’s chiropractors restore their patients to health and wellness. What criteria should you consider when choosing a digitizing company? Look for a service that provides:
- Board certified radiologists licensed in the state where patients are treated.
- Professional Comprehensive Reports
- Free shipping/handling of films to your clinic
- A reasonable turnaround time on reports
- Continuing Education seminars/lecture and materials
- Certification program for your clinic
- Availability to discuss cases with radiologists when necessary
- Newsletters to improve technique and further education
- Knowledgeable support for you and your staff
It is easy to see how diagnostic radiology and the use of Digital Analysis of spinal X-ray films in your practice can help you provide better patient care, limit liabilities, contain costs and increase revenue. TAC
Aadam Z. Quraishi, M. D., specializes in Vascular and Interventional Radiology MRI (Neuro and Musculosketal), MRA Mammography, Breast Localization, Nuclear Medicine CT and Ultrasound. Dr. Quraishi has board certification in Diagnostic Radiology. To contact Dr. Quraishi please call 866-4PDI-PDI or you can email him at [email protected].