My practice has been concerned that we physicians were not maximizing our “coding potential”; that is, we were not receiving as much remuneration for each cancer patient visit as Medicare permits under its guidelines. Therefore, the practice hired a company that specializes in teaching physicians how to get more. This company is part of a newly minted industry that does nothing else.
As often as not, the decision whether to treat or deny treatment to any elderly patient with cancer is a result of an oncologist’s impression of the individual person’s ability to benefit from and withstand the side effects of therapy. And that decision is usually based on a clinical assessment that is far more intuitive than it is scientific.
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