Check out the article in the March issue of Today’s Wound Clinic by Dr. Helen Gelly – Patient Relationship Codes: Why We Need Them and the Unintended Consequences of Using Them.
The patient relationship codes are vital to both Wound Management and Hyperbaric Medicine physicians. We see our patients more often than any of their other doctors, and because we provide the “plurality” of services in a year we are assumed to be the primary care physician. Thus, we are held accountable by Medicare for re-hospitalizations in these complicated patients.
Patient relationship codes were developed to enable us to tell Medicare that we are NOT the primary care doctor but are seeing patients frequently for a specific episode of care. So, there’s no question YOU NEED TO BE USING THE PATIENT RELATIONSHIP MODIFIERS. Unfortunately, there are some unintended consequences, at least until someone fixes these issues.