Providers nationwide not unlike most businesses or individuals are looking for savings and ways to generate more income for their practices. Many mobile testing services are renowned for offering this opportunity. One such very prevalent and popular testing service that has been around for several decades is EMG/NCV testing or Nerve Conduction Velocity testing. This is essentially testing for nerve damage in patients and are applicable to corroborate symptoms and confirm diagnosis of Peripheral Neuropathy and Peripheral Artery Disease as well as many other forms of circulatory based disorders.
What is done in an EMG/NCV test?
The testing is based off of measuring how effective the patients arteries and capillaries are at carrying blood and oxygen throughout the body to major organs. Usually lower and upper extremities are tested, the lower extremities are your legs and feet and the upper extremities are your arms and chest. These tests are noninvasive and clinically effective at diagnosing circulatory issues, and provides valuable data in not only the confirmation of neuropathies but aids in the treatment parameters thereof that can be properly administered based on said confirmations.
Clinical Efficacy and Reports
However it should be said that most providers do not have a problem with clinical efficacy of EMG/NCV testing, what they do have a problem with is the comprehensive nature of the reports and how accurate they are and who is entrusted with interpreting those reports. Usually a board certified neurologist would be the most qualified specialty to review and make recommendations based on reports and data analysis from the testing. It is important to note that most mobile services provide these options as part of their service outlay to the physician and his/her practice.
The wrong way to do Mobile Testing.
One of the more common complaints that we see with these “free” testing services is how the billing is done and how the payment structures are are set up. There are various companies that offer fee split options with the provider and other non-compliant based monetary incentives to prompt the doctor into agreeing to use their service. We would like to make clear no provider should consider these options, and consider healthcare guidelines regarding fee-splitting and anti-kickback statutes. Needless to say that is one reason most physicians are turned off from many mobile service platforms as they are weary of such “deals” being crafted.
The right way to do Mobile Testing.
However, with that said, there is a very compliant way to do EMG/NCV testing and to be kept completely in safe harbors. Allowing the mobile testing company to rent space as part of a supervisory fair market lease agreement, and then to bill strictly for the consultative professional component is within safe harbors for these types of tests. The mobile company would be responsible for billing out for the technical component and that revenue should not be shared under any circumstances with the physician in the case of mobile testing on behalf of the practice.
Our Top Pick is…
After compiling research on several EMG/NCV mobile testing companies, we found that this EMG/NCV program really went above and beyond to meet these compliance standards while simultaneously providing superior customer service, by doing all the pre authorizations for the office and the scheduling of the patients for a testing date. This makes the process exceedingly simple for the practice, as all they have to do is fax over relevant patients (based on medical necessity) to the mobile testing company for final verification. The mobile company does all the leg work, and comes in with the equipment and the technician and does the testing in one of the rooms of the practice. Usually they would ask for a minimum of 7-10 patients for 1 testing day to be scheduled and they would need a minimum of 1 weeks’ notice to have all the scheduling and pre authorization done for each patient submitted for testing.
How much do these services typically generate?
In terms of how much is generated for each practice engaging in this service line; for each testing date the mobile company pays the practice a fair market rental of $1,000.00 and the practice generally is able to bill out for consultations which is when the doctors inform the patient of the results based on the mobile companies testing. These total consultations can range up to an additional $1,000.00 dependent upon insurance. So a practice using this EMG/NCV testing model would typically generate up to $2,000.00 per testing date of service. That’s not bad considering this program costs the provider $0 to implement and the practice could schedule several tests per month if medical necessity and volume of patients needing this test permitted.
All in all this test provides valuable data and information to providers about the circulatory health and condition of their patients, it costs nothing to implement and brings in good revenue per testing date of service. This testing would be particularly applicable for neurologist, pain management, internal medicine but also to general practitioners, family practice and wellness clinics and especially to chiropractors that have implemented neuropathy based cash programs with utilization of electrical stim therapies with tens or the prescription strength TeslaMax or other high power frequency units for treating neuropathy. This test for a Chiropractic office treating neuropathy would be very beneficial and necessary for confirming the patient’s diagnosis prior to setting a treatment regimen, especially when considering that a nonintegrated chiropractic office would not typically have access to a neurologist and that would be provided standard with this service at no additional charge.