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Day: December 3, 2016

What Happens If I Get Busted Driving Without Insurance in Oregon?

Thanks to the current flux of the economy and the fact that people are struggling to cut back in ways they’ve never had to before, the number of people out on the roads driving without insurance is climbing at a rapid rate. Those numbers are expected to hit seventeen percent or higher within the next two years-a frightening thought when you consider there were over 250,851,833 passenger vehicles registered with the DMV in 2007, and numbers have climbed by over 109 million since then.

 

Seventeen percent of that is over 42,644,811 cars on the road without insurance, any one of which can hit you at any minute.

 

The good news is, states are finally starting to crack down on car insurance compliance-and Oregon is leading the field. While many states have started implementing policies for drivers who decide driving without insurance is a good idea to continue to cruise the friendly highways (after paying a stiff fee, of course) Oregon is standing tough and cracking down on uninsured motorists.

 

When you register a vehicle with the Oregon DMV you’re required to show proof that you’re not going to be driving without insurance by producing documentation stating your car is covered under the Oregon minimum car insurance requirements. When the DMV gives you your registration it’s with the understanding that as long as the car is registered in your name it’s going to continue to be covered by those minimum requirements. Failure to do so constitutes a “breach of contract” (of sorts), and it’s punished accordingly.

Oregon Minimum Car Insurance Requirements

1.      $25,000 per person bodily injury and property damage liability,

2.      $50,000 per crash for bodily injury to others,

3.      $10,000 per crash for anyone else’s personal property that decides to get involved,

4.      $15,000 in personal injury protection (to cover “reasonable and necessary medical, dental and other expenses one year after a crash”), and

5.      $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash in uninsured motorist coverage.

 

If you’re caught out on the highways without at least this much insurance on your car you’re going to be required to appear before a judge. If the judge finds you guilty of driving without insurance (as opposed to simply not being able to find your insurance card when the cop pulled you over) they’re going to fine you, and you may even have to pay to have your vehicle towed and stored and your driving privileges suspended for a year or more. And you can definitely plan on spending a ridiculous amount of time over the next three years producing proof of insurance in the form of your SR-22.

 

( The SR-22 is a form sent by your insurance provider that guarantees you’re not driving without insurance and, in fact, have purchased car insurance to the tune of Oregon’s minimum state requirements. It’s required after you’ve been convicted of driving without insurance, are applying to have your license reinstated after a DUI/DWI, you’ve been involved in an …

Should Your Practice Be Billing Codes For Telephone Consultations?

It seems these days as if practices are doing more and more patient consultations over the phone. A lot of this may be due to the current economic conditions and the fact that patients are trying to avoid having to come in and be seen and be charged a co-pay.

What ever the reason physicians are spending more time on the phone these days and are asking whether or not they can bill CPT codes for telephone consultations and get reimbursed.

Unfortunately, Medicare will not pay for patient consultations performed over the phone. In terms of other payers, you will have to check with them on a case by case basis.

If this issue has become a big problem for your practice and is absorbing a lot of your time, you may want to consider billing your patients for this service.

Telephone services are typically billed using two sets of codes added to the CPT index in 2008: codes 99441 – 99443 are for phone services by physicians, while 98966 – 98968 are for services by “qualified non-physician healthcare professionals.” Again, none of these codes are covered by Medicare but more and more private payers are starting to reimburse for this code so it is certainly worth checking with them to see if they will pay.

If you do decide to bill patients for these codes, here are five things you must know about these codes:

  • They may be billed only for “medical discussion” that IS NOT related to an E&M service that was provided within the last seven days and DOES NOT lead to an in-office visit within the next 24 hours or earliest possible date.
  • The phone conversation must be documented by the provider that took the call.
  • Though Medicare does not pay for these codes, both sets of codes have relative value units (RVU’s) assigned to them that you can use to help determine what fee you will charge your patients for these codes.
  • The patient must initiate the call in order for you to bill the service.
  • The codes are valid for established patients ONLY, according to the CPT guidelines.
  • If your practice is performing a significant amount of phone consultations, that revenue can add up over the course of a year and make a difference in your practice’s earnings.
  • If you are considering billing for phone consultations, here are some tips that should help you get paid:
  • Negotiate with private payers – The key is to document every instance over the course of a year that you provided a telephone consultation. The amount of consultations could be significant and show your physicians and other providers provided the service 120 times over a year. When you renegotiate your managed care contract, you can show the provider relations department of that payer the documentation supporting your 120 phone consultations and explain to them this is what you did. You can then ask the provider relations for an allowance from the payer for these consultations. If one payer