Guidelines for Writing Narratives

Be precise in describing clinical facts and include the diagnosis for the procedure being submitted –minimize/exclude subjective remarks.

Include clear diagnostic quality radiographs printed on quality paper and do not fold the copy. Neversend originals – send duplicates or copies.

Ensure legibility. If possible, avoid handwritten narratives. Attach the narrative electronically or type andprint a hard copy.

Omit irrelevant or unnecessary comments such as “Please call if additional information needed” or“Please process for payment.”

Avoid using abbreviations.

Customize the narrative – generic narratives can decrease credibility.

If the narrative exceeds the allowable space on the paper claim form, use a separate page, and be sure tonote as such on the claim in the narrative section (e.g., see attached narrative). Only 80 characters areguaranteed to be received by the payer. Use an electronic attachment if more space is necessary.

Utilize proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

Be honest and truthful – never include anything that is not documented in the clinical chart.

Never use aggressive language. Avoid statements such as “Insurance commissioner will be contactedif claim is not paid or denied in 30-days,” as this will have no positive effect on the processing speed,approval, or outcome of your claim.