Saturday, November 14, 2009

New blog series called: "Did you know?"

For the next few blogs I will address some of the most common issues related to advanced imaging and the preauthorization of such studies in a non-urgent setting.
Did you know that an MRI brain without contrast is the preferred study for the sole complaint of worsening headaches in a patient without any underlying medical history? For a patient with cancer or a known brain tumor, the preferred study would be an MRI brain with or with/without contrast. Of course, if an MRI is contraindicated, CT would be the preferred study.
Many medical providers choose CT because they think it is cheaper and will be easily approved by the insurance company/advanced imaging management company. MRI can actually be cheaper in the long run. Specifically, when a CT is done and it comes back negative. If the patient continues to have symptoms an MRI is ordered anyway. Most importantly, MRI is the preferred study for neural imaging. Dr. Robert B. Daroff said at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society, "sensitivity of an MRI scan far exceeds that of CT scans for all neurologic conditions, not just headache".
Medical providers should think twice about ordering a CT vs an MRI for nonurgent conditions. Not only can an MRI save money in the long run, it prevents radiation exposure and gives better results.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I remember....

I remember at the end of the day when working with medical offices, talking with them on the phone and collecting clinical information for prior authorization, I would think to myself how I would love to be able to teach them what I know. Hearing the frustration and stress in their voices and their words, I wish I could show them where to look for information, how to read the doctor's note, what the labs mean, why ordering an MRI brain is better than ordering a CT scan for headaches. All this has now come true. I am teaching staff all of these things and more! Being a nurse, what a great way for me to help patients by teaching medical staff.
If you are feeling frustrated and stressed out with this process, contact me at
There is no obligation and no high pressure sales pitch.

I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again. ~William Penn

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Medical Office Staff Are Stressed Out!

Seems like everyone is so stressed out these days! Today medical office staff are overworked and tasked with new duties for which there is minimal training. I know, I have been there, working in many medical offices over the past 10 years. On the job training was the rule, not the exception. And for the past 5 years as a nurse reviewer for one of the largest advanced imaging management companies, I have heard from many medical office staff how stressful their days have become. Coordinating care with patients, doctors, insurance companies and other medical facilities all at one time can be extremely stressful. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center writes,"studies show that stressful working conditions are actually associated with increased absenteeism, tardiness, and turnover--all of which have a negative effect on the bottom line." This is a serious problem. One of the ways stress can be reduced with the prior authorization process(aka predetermination) is by having proper training. Stop the stress and frustration associated with this process by viewing my website to see how I can help.