Reason #1,279 for insurance companies to go away

Posted on July 20, 2011 I Written By

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC. He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC in 2009. He can be contacted at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.

Oops… they… did it again.  Turns out that Britney Spears had it right.  Today, we awoke to a wonderful new electronic billing requirement that apparently Blue Cross Blue Shield has decided to implement.  Suddenly without warning, they now need to know the date of the last menstrual period for all pregnant patients in order to process our claims for payment.

In the medical world, the last menstrual period or LMP is typically part of the medical history needed to estimate the “date of confinement”, aka the due date for pregnant women.  Now just what an insurance company needs with this information is a complete mystery to me.  Any claims that are filed without this information will be denied, or at the very least delayed and require additional paperwork to be filed later.  Ultimately, this leads to additional expenditure of staff time and more importantly delays in payments to doctors.  All with no clear benefit to patient care or health outcomes.

Makes you wonder what the insurance companies come up with to ask for next.

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC.  He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC, as a solo practice in 2009.  He can be reached at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.