Helping Patients Understand How Medicare Pays For Podiatry Services
Since one usually performs podiatry services in an outpatient setting, Medicare Part B applies. Medicare Part B will pay 80 percent of covered medical costs. The patient is responsible for both an annual deductible and 20 percent of the bill. Many patients are not aware of the yearly deductible and are shocked when receiving their invoice. Taking the time to educate patients, whether through postings in your office, an office policy that they sign or by a brief conversation with staff, will save time and tension in the future.
If the patients ever require surgery to treat a foot condition and are admitted to the hospital as inpatients, Medicare Part A will come in effect as well. A larger deductible applies here as does the 20 percent co-insurance. This deductible also covers the first 20 days in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) if it is recommended that the patient finish recovery there. Medicare will only cover the SNF stay if the patient was admitted to the hospital for at least three days.
When a patient applies for Medicare, he or she may ask you what plans you recommend. Although this varies wildly by region, the patient may want to consider supplemental coverage to help pay for things traditional Medicare does not. Medicare plans such as Medigap and Medicare Advantage can help lower some of these costs. Medigap plans can help cover a patient’s Part A deductible and Part B deductible, copays, and coinsurance. Medicare Advantage plans can help lower a patient’s out-of-pocket costs by setting a copayment amount that may be lower than a patient’s normal Part B coinsurance. Medicare Advantage plans also may offer extra podiatry services, such as routine foot care exams. There are also numerous Medicare Supplements furnished by companies such as AARP, Mutual of Omaha, BCBS and numerous others that assist doctor’s services and medications not covered by traditional Medicare Plans.
In summary, during the time of MEDICARE open enrollment, it is best to consult with your practitioners on pros and cons of particular Medicare product and/or supplemental insurance. In terms of podiatry care, we are are here to answer your questions.