Archive | April 2013

Diagnostics and Health


It takes more than a degree in medicine to be able to properly care for and diagnose a patient. It takes being able to get the correct information from medical diagnostic equipment. These crucial pieces of equipment are essential for any health care facility, especially hospitals.


To the casual patient, medical diagnostic imaging equipment is viewed as (to quote Monty Python) machines that go “Ping!”, flashy instruments which impress. In reality, they convey essential information to the trained professionals who rely on them for proper diagnosis.


Medical equipment is often large, expensive, and highly specialized. You’ve got whole medical diagnostic laboratories for intense analysis of samples and information. It all comes together with medical diagnostic equipment being analyzed by people trained to interpret them, and then decisions being made by doctors.


Getting the right machines for medical diagnostics is crucial for any medical facilities. A family doctor office doesn’t have the space or need for the same types of equipment that a hospital has. (And patients should realize this when a medical emergency arises going straight to the hospital puts you in a situation much better prepared to handle your emergency.)


Of course, one important piece of equipment that all hospitals make good use of is medical diagnostic sonography machines. While they have multiple purposes, the one people always fondly think about is in getting sonor images of a baby during various stages of pregnancy. While the pictures give the parents-to-be a fun image of their developing child, the technology is important for being able to help the hospital staff ensure the baby is healthy.


Thankfully, medical diagnostics equipment does more than just react to problems, it helps to anticipate a possible medical emergency before it becomes reality, allowing the doctor and patient to form a game plan to avoid or minimize the impact of the issue. And luckily for a lot of issues it doesn’t even take a huge piece of equipment to detect possible problems—a simple stethoscope will tell a family doctor a lot.


In addition to the equipment, there are medical diagnostic codes to ensure that the patient is properly billed for the services performed. While no one wants to receive a medical bill, the codes help assure the patient and the facility staff that everything is correct.


With states trying to cut funding everywhere, it is becoming increasingly important for hospitals and doctors offices to cut down on the cost of major equipment. Two easy ways help reduce costs: buying used or refurbished equipment and getting repairs for existing equipment that malfunctions.


Deciphering Medical Bills


No one wants to go to the doctor office or hospital, but sometimes it is unavoidable. After all, things go wrong with the human body—it’s a part of the mortal coil. But when you do have to go, pay attention to the invoice. Believe it or not, there is more information than you can possibly guess.


CPT codes are the numbers that appear on medical bills and invoices. They denote the specific items which the facility is charging you for. As such, knowing what the codes mean can help protect you against a mistake where the medical facility puts the wrong code down.


The costly option is to buy the most current CPT codes book published by the American Medical Association. They publish each year to provide up-to-date access to the changes in codes for that year. However, for people who only need infrequent medical care, an expensive book may not be your best option.


Luckily, there are websites which offer a free CPT code lookup service. Simply take the code you see on the invoice, plug it into the website, and it’ll tell you what the code represents. As confusing as it can be to read CPT codes, free lookup ensures that when you have a a broken leg being set in a cast, you’re not getting charged for a colonoscopy.


Because of the changing nature of CPT codes, when you search for CPT 4 codes lookup make sure the site uses updated information. If you are searching for codes which aren’t coming up, you’re likely using an outdated CPT 4 code lookup search.


If you have any questions about the coding on your bill, you can ask the medical facility who is billing you. While using a CPT code lookup on the Internet can often provide you the information you need, differences between codes as recommended by the AMA and what is used by the medical facility isn’t unheard of. A CPT code lookup, free or otherwise, won’t pick up on these subtleties.


When requesting clarification from a hospital or family doctor to supplement whatever information you’re finding on a CPT codes lookup, please be polite; no reputable facility will be intentionally trying to mischarge or confuse you. Explain either the discrepancy that seems to be present with your bill based on your search; don’t outright accuse the person of wrongly charging you.


Armed with information, you can protect yourself from the cryptic bills which medical facilities give you.