Payment to Physician for Purchased Diagnostic Tests
A physician or a medical group may submit the claim and (if assignment is accepted) receive the Part B payment, for the technical component of diagnostic tests which the physician or group purchases from an independent physician, medical group, or other supplier. (This claim and payment procedure does not extend to clinical diagnostic laboratory tests.) The purchasing physician or group may be the same physician or group as ordered the tests or may be a different physician or group. An example of the latter situation is when the attending physician orders radiology tests from a radiologist and the radiologist purchases the tests from an imaging center. The purchasing physician or group may not mark up the charge for a test from the purchase price and must accept the lowest of the fee schedule amount if the supplier had billed directly; the physician’s actual charge; or the supplier’s net charge to the purchasing physician or group, as full payment for the test even if assignment is not accepted.
In order to purchase a diagnostic test, the purchaser must perform the interpretation. The physician or other supplier that furnished the technical component must be enrolled in the Medicare program. No formal reassignment is necessary.
A. Purchased TC Services
Carriers must apply the purchased services limitation to the TC of radiologic services other than screening mammography procedures.
B. Payment to Supplier of Diagnostic Tests for Purchased Interpretations
A person or entity that provides diagnostic tests may submit the claim, and (if assignment is accepted) receive the Part B payment, for diagnostic test interpretations which that person or entity purchases from an independent physician or medical group if:
• The tests are initiated by a physician or medical group which is independent of the person or entity providing the tests and of the physician or medical group providing the interpretations;
• The physician or medical group providing the interpretations does not see the patient; and
• The purchaser (or employee, partner, or owner of the purchaser) performs the technical component of the test. The interpreting physician must be enrolled in the Medicare program. No formal reassignment is necessary.
The purchaser must keep on file the name, the provider identification number and address of the interpreting physician. The rules permitting claims by a facility or clinic for services of an independent contractor physician on the physical premises of the facility or clinic.