"Payer: CMS|Medicare" & "Coding" Articles


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2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Updates - Do You Really Need to Worry?

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Common Medical to Dental Procedures and Where to Find Them

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With healthcare integrating and consolidating the delivery of healthcare systems, it only makes sense using medical insurance affords better management of care, dental providers are quickly picking up the slack on dental policies and utilizing healthcare coverage, understanding this affords better care for their patients. There are many common dental procedures that ...

Locating Periodontal Disease in ICD-10-CM

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When coding a diagnosis for periodontal disease, keep in mind there are more options than just chronic or acute. To get started, look at chapter 11, Diseases of the digestive system (K00-K95). Looking at this section a little further, you can see this is where the oral cavity is coded ...

Cross-A-Code Instructions in Find-A-Code

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Cross-A-Code is a tool found in Find-A-Code which helps you to locate codes in other code sets that help you when submitting a claim.

Delving Into the 360 Assessment Fraud Complaint

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The Department of Justice is pursuing claims of healthcare fraud against Cigna Health-Spring Medicare Advantage plan based on how they used data from their 360 Program in 2012. A review of the allegations may help other payers avoid similar accusations.

CMS Expands Telehealth Again

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On October 14, 2020, CMS announced further changes to expand telehealth coverage. Eleven (11) new codes have been added to their list of covered services bringing the current total to 144 services. The new services include some neurostimulator analysis and programming services as well as some cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services.

Stay out of Trouble — Understand the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program

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To assist low-income Medicare beneficiaries, CMS created the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) program; a Medicaid benefit which pays for Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, or copays for any Medicare-covered items and services for Medicare Part A, Part B, and Medicare Advantage (Part C). Providers/suppliers are prohibited from billing premiums and cost sharing to Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in QMB.

New Value-Based Payment Models for Primary Care (Primary Care First and Direct Contracting)

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This article summarizes the new Medicare value-based payment models: Primary Care First and Direct Contracting.

2021 Brings Another Risk Adjustment Calculation Change

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In 2021, a big change in Risk Adjustment score calculations will take place, which will affect payments to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans for the coming year and take us closer to quality and value-based programs instead of fee-for-service (FFS) or risk-adjusted (RA). Currently, CMS pays a per-enrollee capitated...

Office of Inspector General Says Medicare Advantage Organizations are Denying Services Inappropriately

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We attended the recent virtual RISE National Conference and had the opportunity to listen to presenters share their knowledge about risk adjustment and HCC reporting and data validation. Among the presenters were representatives from the Office of Inspector General (OIG), who presented findings from encounter data from 2012-2016. They began ...

Use the Correct Diagnosis Codes and Revenue Codes to Get Paid for PAD Rehab

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The initial treatment in rehabilitation for patients suffering from Intermittent Claudication (IC) is Supervised Exercise Therapy (SET) for Symptomatic Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD).  Rehabilitation using SET involves the use of intermittent walking exercise, which alternates periods of walking to moderate-to-maximum claudication, with rest.   When reporting 93668 for peripheral arterial disease rehabilitation the following ...

Are NCCI Edits and Modifiers Just for Medicare?

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The National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) edits were developed by CMS to help promote proper coding and control improper coding that leads to incorrect payments with part B claims. It is important to understand that NCCI edits do not include every possible code combination or every type of un-bundling combination. With that ...

Payment Adjustment Rules for Multiple Procedures and CCI Edits

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Surgical and medical services often include work that is required to be done prior to a procedure and post-procedure. When there are multiple procedures done by the same physician, group, or another qualified healthcare professional on the same day, the pre and post work is only required once. Therefore, CMS ...

Understanding UCR Inpatient Fees used on DRGs

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HCPCS Codes Were NOT all Created for the Same Purpose

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Have you ever wondered why you were unable to find a particular product/code with our DMEPOS search? When looking for HCPCS Level II codes, there are several kinds of codes and not all HCPCS codes were created for the same purpose. If you are searching for a certain HCPCS product ...

Additional COVID-19 Testing Codes Announced

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New coronavirus antigen testing codes announced. These are effective immediately.

Outpatient Facility Pricing

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Our newest feature launch offers UCR pricing for Outpatient Facility. We recently released pricing information based on databases of insurance claims from private-sector health care providers.Usual, customary, and reasonable charges (UCR) are medical fees used when there are no contractual pricing agreements and are used by certain healthcare plans and third-party payers to generate ...

MEGA - NCCI Edit Changes - WHO Knew?

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There was no huge announcement when CMS released new files in April. The files that were released on April 7, 2020, actually replaced files to update the NCCI edits on Procedure to Procedure (PTP) edits and Medically Unlikely Edits (MUE).  The updated files included; 291,902 Deleted Procedure to Procedure (PTP) edits 197  Deleted Medically Unlikely ...

Where is the CCI Edit with Modifier 25 on E/M?

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If you are not seeing a CCI edit when reporting an E/M code with a certain procedure, it may be that there is no edit. CMS does not have a CCI edit for every CPT code, however, there are still general coding rules that must be followed.  The use of Modifier 25 is one example ...

Packaging and Units for Billing Drugs

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To determine the dosage, size, doses per package and how many billing units are in each package, refer to the NDC number. Take a look at the following J1071 - Injection, testosterone cypionate, 1mg For example; using NCD # 0009-0085-10 there are 10 doses of 100 mL (100 mg/mL = 1 mL and there are ...

Are Diagnoses from Telehealth Services Eligible for Risk Adjustment?

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On April 10th, CMS released a memo with the subject line, “Applicability of diagnoses from telehealth services for risk adjustment,” suggesting there may be some telehealth services that might not qualify for risk adjustment. However, in the memo CMS states: “Diagnoses resulting from telehealth services can meet the risk adjustment face-to-face ...

Additional Telehealth Changes Announced by CMS

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On April 30, 2020, CMS announced additional sweeping changes to meet the challenges of providing adequate healthcare during this pandemic. These changes expand the March 31st changes. The article covers some of the key changes. See the official announcement in the references below.

Special COVID Laboratory Specimen Coding Information

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With all the new laboratory test codes that have been added due to the current public health emergency (PHE), there are a few additional guidelines CMS has released about collecting samples to perform the testing. Please keep in mind that these guidelines are by CMS and may or may not apply to other commercial payer policies.

SOME of Us Non-Essentials May be Able to Get Back on the Road!

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The day is coming when the freeways will have 5:00 pm stop-and-go traffic again, no doubt. However, when it comes to re-opening our world, CMS has Recommendations! Changes are finally here; we are starting to see a decline in COVID-19 cases in some states and certain locations. It may be time ...

Now That is Fraud! Genetic Testing "Public alert"

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Genetic testing is becoming very popular. In fact, so popular you might see it in places you would not expect such as a community event, fairs or any event happening in your community. Some labs may even offer FREE screening for genetic testing. Watch for FREE screening announcements or advertisements ...

New CPT® Codes Approved for COVID-19 Antibody Identification

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On April 10, 2020, the American Medical Association approved and published a revision of code 86318 and added two new codes 86328 and 86769 for reporting Coronavirus [COVID-19] antibody testing.

CPT Coding Guidance on New Lab Code for COVID-19

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According to the AMA, "The Addition of one Category I Pathology and Laboratory code (87635) for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-2-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) accepted at the March 2020 CPT Editorial Panel meeting. *Note that code 87635 will be a child code under parent code 87471. It is represented here ...

CMS Important Information on COVID-19 Released

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CMS has recently released some important information on their last MLN, the highlights are below. COVID-19: Dear Clinician Letter CMS posted a letter to clinicians that outlines a summary of actions CMS has taken to ensure clinicians have maximum flexibility to reduce unnecessary barriers to providing patient care during the unprecedented outbreak ...

CMS Announces Final 2021 HCC Risk Adjustment Changes

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On April 6, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published their final Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D payment methodologies for CY 2021. Read more to be prepared for these upcoming changes.

More Telehealth Changes Announced by CMS

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On March 31, 2020, CMS announced further changes to their telehealth program in response to this unprecedented public health emergency (PHE). See this article for further information as well as references & links to CMS information

2020 Medicare Part D Coverage Gap (AKA donut hole)

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Not every Medicare drug plan has complete coverage for prescription drugs - most have some sort of coverage gap, known as the “Donut Hole”. The coverage gap is a temporary limit on coverage under the drug plan. This coverage gap will not affect everyone and begins after you have used ...

Medicare Part D Coverage Gap (Donut Hole) Closes in 2020

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Overview of the Part D coverage gap, how it got closed, what the picture looks like for 2020, and long-term outlook.

"What is the ICD-10 code for...?" - Search Smarter With Find-A-Code Tools

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Do you still find yourself searching the internet for an ICD10 code? Medical coders often type into their search engine, what is the ICD10 code for ... and a specific diagnosis code, to avoid repeatedly dragging out the incredibly large ICD10 codebook. Ironically, some of the most commonly searched ICD10 diagnoses include: ...

Understand the New Codes for Testing & Reporting the COVID-19 Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)

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The current coronavirus pandemic refers to COVID-19, a novel or new type of coronavirus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first victim of the virus was identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China at the end of 2019. There is no immunization available to prevent it from spreading and ...

Coronavirus - What in the World is it and How is it Coded? 2020-02-20

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On December 31, 2019, we learned of a deadly outbreak of an unknown virus, with an unknown cause. We have since learned the virus was identified in Wuhan, China as a novel coronavirus (2019-n-CoV). Until we have more information on the 2019-nCoV, persons with an underlying medical condition are considered high ...

Medicare Begins Covering Acupuncture Services

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Medicare is changing their policy regarding coverage of acupuncture, but in order to provide these services, you must follow their rules.

A 2020 Radiology Coding Change You Need To Know

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The radiology section of the 2020 CPT© has 1 new, 18 revised, and 14 deleted codes. Interestingly, six of the 14 deleted codes were specific to reporting single-photon computerized tomographic (SPECT) imaging services of the brain, heart, liver, bladder, and others. If your organization reports radiology services, it is...

Medicare Announces Coverage of Acupuncture Services

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On January 21, 2020, a CMS Newsroom press-release read, This new announcement is both exciting and refreshing. Acupuncture, a key component of traditional Chinese medicine and most commonly used to treat pain, is now being officially recognized by Medicare and several other large payers as a covered, alternative treatment option for ...

Who Knew? There are Three Types of Add-On Codes

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Using add-on codes with HCPCS/CPT is not as simple as 123! Although there are three different groups of add-on codes assigned by CMS, these are used to identify code edits. It is easy to see the add-on code with some codes; we can see the instructional notes and phrases such ...

Denials due to MUE Usage - This May be Why!

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CMS assigns Medically Unlikely Edits (MUE's) for HCPCS/CPT codes, although not every code has an MUE. MUE edits are used to limit tests and treatments provided to a Medicare patient for a single date of service or for a single line item on a claim form. It is important to understand MUE's are ...

CMS Report on QPP Shows Increasing Involvement

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MIPS 2018 participation increased according to the final report issued by CMS on January 6, 2020.


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