Graduation Year

2001

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Au.D.

Degree Granting Department

Audiology

Major Professor

Raymond M. Hurley

Keywords

CPT codes, Third part payer, Managed care, Audiology practice

Abstract

The primary objective of the project was to survey audiologists in clinical practice setting to determine the amount of time taken to perform various audiologic tests using Current Procedural Terminology, (CPT) codes to define these tests and if these CPT codes were felt to be adequate. Audiologists were also asked to respond regarding possible impact and reimbursement changes in their clinical practices related to managed care. Responses of audiologists were analyzed to determine: a) adequacy of CPT codes; b)average time to perform various audiologic tests; c) impact managed care onclinical practice; and d) changes in reimbursement as a result of managed care.

The survey was designed to determine the type of work setting, typical job duty, average monthly caseload and hours per day spent on patient care for each respondent. The survey with a cover letter explaining the purpose was mailed to 93 audiologists in clinical setting in the state of Florida. Five were returned undeliverable, and 39 of the remaining 88 were returned either completed or partially completed. The survey results revealed over 71% of the audiologists felt the current CPT codes were adequate. Time spent performing traditional audiologic tests, such as comprehensive audiometric evaluations and impedance testing, was fairly consistent.

Greater time variability occurred in tests used to determine vestibular function. Over three-quarters of the respondents believed managed care has had a negative impact on their clinical practices, while 11% believe they have been positively impacted. Approximately 82% of the audiologists have had reductions in reimbursement as a result of managed care, while 10% have seen no change and 5% have enjoyed slightly greater reimbursement.

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