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"Chiropractic" & "Compliance" Articles

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Federal Workers Compensation Information

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When federal employees sustain work-related injuries, it does not go through state workers compensation insurance. You must be an enrolled provider to provide services or supplies. The following are some recommended links for additional information about this program. Division of Federal Employees' Compensation (DFEC) website Division of Federal Employees' Compensation (DFEC) provider ...

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CMS and HHS Tighten Enrollment Rules and Increase Penalties

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This ruling impacts what providers and suppliers are required to disclose to be considered eligible to participate in Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The original proposed rule came out in 2016 and this final rule will go into effect on November 4, 2019.  There have been known problems ...

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Q/A: Is the Functional Rating Index by Evidence-Based Chiropractic Valid?

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Question Is the Functional Rating Index, from the Institute of Evidence-Based Chiropractic, valid and acceptable? Or do we have to use Oswestry and NDI? Answer You can use any outcome assessment questionnaire that has been normalized and vetted for the target population and can be scored so you can compare the results from ...

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Attention Chiropractors!

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Find-A-Code has created a TOPIC page specifically for Chiropractors. Check it out! We have simplified your search with Articles, Tips, Webinars, and Tools all in one place for your convenience. Be sure to visit us today. Simply go to Findacode.com then hover over TOPICS at the top of the page, then select Chiropractic. ...

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Are You Aware of Medicare Advantage Plans Timely Filing Rules?

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The Medicare Fee for Service (FFS) program (Traditional or Original Medicare) has a timely filing requirement; a clean claim for services rendered must be received within one year of the date of service or risk payment denial. As any company who has billed Medicare services can attest, the one-year timely filing ...

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Medical ID Theft

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Medical ID Theft "So, do you guys think you can do something with that?" John asked angrily at our first meeting with him in August 2017 as he slammed a stack of medical bills, EOBs and collection letters - three inches high - down in front of my partner and I. ...

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Will Medicare Change Their Rules Regarding Coverage of Services Provided by a Chiropractor?

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Two separate pieces of legislation introduced in the House of Representatives (H.R. 2883 and H.R. 3654) have the potential to change some of Medicare’s policies regarding doctors of chiropractic. Find out what these two bills are all about and how they could affect Medicare policies.

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The OIG Work Plan: What Is It and Why Should I Care?

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) founded its Office of Inspector General (OIG) in 1976 and tasked it with the responsibility to combat waste, fraud, and abuse within Medicare, Medicaid, and the other HHS programs. With approximately 1,600 employees, HHS OIG is the largest inspector general's office within ...

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Q/A: What if my Patient Refuses to Fill out the Outcome Assessment Questionnaire?

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Question: What if my Medicare patient refuses to fill out the outcome assessment questionnaire? Answer: Inform the patient that Medicare requires that you demonstrate functional improvement in order for them to determine if the care is medically necessary. In other words, they may have to pay for the care out of pocket if ...

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The Role of Chiropractic in Value Based Payment Systems

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Chiropractic care can play a valuable role in overall patient health. It is important to realize that chiropractors can effectively participate in Medicare's new value based payment systems. Read about one organization who has made this transition.

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Q/A: How do I Bill Mobile Clinic Services?

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Question: I have a part time mobile clinic. I travel to treat patients at their homes. Are there special considerations when billing for these encounters?

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Q/A: What do I Need to Document for Periodic Adjustments on a Medicare Patient?

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Question: What type of documentation is required for a Medicare patient with degenerative joint disease who get adjusted once or twice a month for occasional flare-ups of the D. J. D. region? The noted adjustments give good relief of the patient's symptoms. Answer: There is no question that these adjustments would be considered ...

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Are These Problems Hurting Your Practice?

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There are many things that can be missed when trying to run an effective and profitable practice. This article covers some important tasks that are often overlooked such as not reviewing your payer contracts or failing to check eligibility.

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Act Now on CMS Proposal to Cover Acupuncture for Chronic Low Back Pain

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Now is the time to comment on a proposal to cover acupuncture for chronic low back pain. This comment period is the part of the HHS response to the opioid crisis. You only have until August 14th to officially comment.

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Denial Management is Key to Profitability

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Q/A: Do I Use 7th Character A for all Sprain/Strain Care Until MMI?

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Question:  It is in regards to the Initial and Subsequent 7th digit (A and D) for sprains and strains. Recently, I have been told that I should continue with the A digit until the patient has reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) and then switch over to the D place holder. Is ...

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5 Ways to Minimize HIPAA Liabilities

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Last year was historic for HIPAA enforcement. The HHS Office of Civil Rights collected a record $23.5 million in settlements and judgments against providers guilty of HIPAA violations. To avoid becoming part of that unwanted statistic, it’s important to pay extra close attention to five key areas of HIPAA vulnerability. Take ...

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Q/A: Can I Put the DC’s NPI in Item Number 24J for Massage Services?

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Question: Are there scenarios in which it is acceptable to put the DC's NPI in box 24j for massage services?  Answer: While the answer to this is yes, it is essential to understand that there are very limited scenarios. In most cases, Item Number 24J is only for the NPI of the individual ...

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Will the New Low Level Laser Therapy Code Solve Your Billing Issues?

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Low level laser therapy (LLLT), also known as cold laser therapy, is a form of phototherapy which uses a device that produces laser beam wavelengths, typically between 600 and 1000 nm and watts from 5–500 milliwatts (mW). It is often used to treat the following: Inflammatory conditions (e.g., Rheumatoid Arthritis, Carpal ...

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Rules for Rendering Unproven, Investigational or Experimental Procedures

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If you haven’t reviewed your state guidelines or taken a recent look at third-party payer policies on unproven, investigational or experimental procedures, now is the perfect time to make sure you’re up to speed with this important information.  Most providers are surprised to see commonly used devices or techniques listed ...

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Q/A: Do I Really Need to Have an Interpreter?

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Question: I heard that I need to have an interpreter if someone who only speaks Spanish comes into my office. Is this really true? Answer:  Yes! There are both state and federal laws that need to be considered. The applicable federal laws are: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,  Americans with Disabilities ...

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2018 Medicare Improper Payment Report Shows Slight Improvement but There's Still Work to be Done

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The Medicare Improper Payment Report for 2018 is not a measurement of fraud. Rather, it is an estimate of the claims paid by Medicare which did not meet Medicare coverage, coding, and billing rules. The estimated Medicare FFS payment accuracy rate (claims paid correctly) from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, was 91.9 percent. ...

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Q/A: Can I Refuse to File a Patient's Medical Insurance for an Auto Accident?

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Question: Can a Chiropractor refuse to file a patients Medical Insurance for an Auto Accident? Answer: There isn't a simple answer to this question. It depends on who is responsible and state laws. Who is responsible (the auto insurance or the medical insurance) can depend on state requirements as well as who is ...

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Small Breaches Can Be Subject to Large Penalties

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Small Breaches Can Be Subject to Large Penalties    We may have heard about the large fines issued by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) against big organizations like Anthem or the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. These organizations have been in the news due to privacy breaches that constituted violations ...

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What Medical Necessity Tools Does Find-A-Code Offer?

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Find-A-Code is a great resource for individuals working in all aspects of healthcare, from providers and ancillary staff to the attorneys and payers who assess and critique the documentation supporting the services performed. When recently asked what tools Find-A-Code has to help support medical necessity, our response was, "We provide many resources ...

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Noting "Noncontributory" for Past Medical, Family, Social History - Is It Acceptable?

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Is "noncontributory" really an unacceptable word to describe a patient whose family history doesn't have any bearing on the condition being evaluated and treated today?

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Q/A: For Physical Therapy Claims, What is the Correct Modifier Order?

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Question Page 116 of the 2019 ChiroCode Deskbook shows examples for Medicare modifiers. Is this the specific order for the modifiers to be entered? Our practice management software system is advising the GP or GY should be used as Modifier 1 and not as Mod 2 or Mod 3. Also, it shows the ...

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Your New Patient Exam Code Could Determine How Many Visits You Get

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The initial exam is where the provider gathers the information to determine the need for all the care that follows. It is billed most often as an office or outpatient evaluation and management (E/M) code from the 4th edition of the AMA’s Current Procedural Terminology book. There are actually five ...

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Q/A: Two Payers Both Paid the Claim. Who Gets the Refund?

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Question  We have a personal injury situation where we submitted a claim was sent to the patient's auto policy carrier who refused payment. We then submitted it to her other insurance. Eventually, both companies paid her claims. Her auto paid at full value, and her secondary paid at a reduced rate ...

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Electrical Stimulation and Electromagnetic Therapy Devices

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Electrical Stimulation and Electromagnetic Therapy Devices can be used for pain, muscle atrophy, help spinal cord injuries, treat symptoms caused by other medical conditions and can be used in the treatment of wounds. This Regence BC/BS article lists codes and devices and gives guidance on coding from Medicare Advantage viewpoint.

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Q/A: I’m Being Audited? Is There a Documentation Template I can use?

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Question: Our Medicare contractor is auditing claims with 98942. Do you have any suggestions for a template for documentation to warrant the use of 98942? Answer: When you submit a claim with code 98942 you are stating that you have determined that it was medically necessary to adjust all 5 of ...

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OIG Announces New Review For Medicare Part B Payments for Podiatry and Ancillary Services

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Due to prior OIG work identifying inappropriate payments for podiatrists and ancillary services, the OIG announced in Feb 2019 they will begin a new review starting in 2020.  The OIG stated they will review Medicare Part B payments to determine if medical necessity is supported in accordance with Medicare requirements.   Part of the ...

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Let's Talk High Risk E/M Services

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Have you ever assigned a high-complexity E/M code (e.g., 99205, 99215, 99223, 99233, 99245, etc.) and wondered if it would stand up to further scrutiny? Well, let’s take a closer look at the requirements for reporting high-level E/M services.   Both the American Medical Association and Medicare-published E/M Guidelines agree that a ...

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Auditing Chiropractic Services

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Chiropractic is unique from other types of health care and auditors need to be aware of the nuances of this field. Chiropractic has become the focus of more and more audits as doctors seem to struggle to create records that properly support the care provided to the patient throughout the entire episode.

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Q/A: What’s Wrong with the Diagnoses on my Claim?

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Question: I got a denial on my claim and it said the problem was with the diagnoses codes that I used. I used M54.15 and M79.2. I don’t understand why this is a problem.

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Watch out for People-Related ‘Gotchas’

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In Chapter 3 — Compliance of the ChiroCode DeskBook, we warn about the dangers of disgruntled people (pages 172-173). Even if we think that we are a wonderful healthcare provider and office, there are those individuals who can and will create problems. As frustrating as it may be, there are ...

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Prepayment Review Battle Plan

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Any type of payer review can create some headaches for providers and cause problems for a healthcare office. Even for a practice that has taken administrative steps to try and prevent a prepayment review, it can still happen. A prepayment review means that you must include documentation WITH your claim. ...

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Q/A: I Submitted a Claim to the VA and it’s Being Denied. Why?

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I submitted a claim to the VA and it’s being denied. Why? There are several reasons why your claim might be denied by the Veterans Administration (VA). However, without more information about the claim itself (e.g., services billed), we can only provide the following general information about the VA and chiropractic ...

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Corrections and Updates

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One constant in our industry is change. Policies change, contracts change, and there are updates. Also, people aren’t perfect and mistakes can be made. So this article will cover a variety of topics. Published Articles We appreciate feedback from our valued customers. We have received feedback regarding two of our articles which ...

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Clearing Up Some Medicare Participation Misunderstandings

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Even though we may think we truly understand what it means to be a participating provider, Medicare doesn’t quite work the way that other insurance plans do. Far too many providers do not understand the difference and get into hot water. To further complicate matters, the rules are different for ...

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Q/A: How do we Know Which Codes a Payer Will Allow?

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How do we know which codes a payer will allow? The best way to determine the codes (CPT, ICD-10-CM and HCPCS) allowed by a payer is to review their payer policy. While it is good to know the official guidelines (e.g., ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting, AMA Guidelines, Medicare ...

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Date of Service Reporting for Radiology Services

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Providers need to ensure that they are reporting radiology dates of service the way the payer has requested. Unlike other many other professional services which only have one date of service (DOS), radiology services can span multiple dates. Medicare requirements may differ from professional organization recommendations.

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Understanding NCCI Edits

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Medicare creates and maintains the National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) edits and NCCI Policy Manual, which identify code pair edits. When performed on the same patient, on the same day, and by the same provider, the secondary code is considered an integral part of the primary code, and payment for ...

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Medicare Supplemental Policies (MediGap) and Extremity Adjustments

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The nice thing about MediGap policies is that they pay for some of the healthcare costs that an original Medicare plan (Part B) does not cover. So when a patient has Medicare and a Medicare supplement (MediGap) and their condition is related to an extremity (a noncovered service), Medicare must ...

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Q/A: What's the Difference Between Q5 and Q6 for a Substitute Provider?

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It is important to understand that modifiers Q5 and Q6 are not interchangeable. So when do you use each of them?

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Proposed Rule: Expanded Telemedicine Benefits for Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries

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Telemedicine continues its rise, with new technologies allowing for better communication and access to more aspects of healthcare than ever before. Each year Medicare has made strides, albeit small strides, in their telemedicine coverage while commercial payers continue to make great strides, constantly improving and expanding telemedicine service offerings to ...

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Q/A: Do Digital X-rays Have Their Own Codes?

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Question Are you aware if digital x-ray of the spine requires a different code than plain x-ray?  If so, where can I find the information specific to digital x-ray codes? Answer There are no separate codes for digital x-rays. However, there may be modifiers that are required to be submitted with the usual ...

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Charging Missed Appointment Fees for Medicare Patients

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Some providers mistakenly think that they cannot bill a missed appointment fee for Medicare beneficiaries. You can, but Medicare has specific rules that must be followed. These rules are outlined in the Medicare Claims Policy Manual, Chapter 1, Section 30.3.13. You must have an official “Missed Appointment Policy” which is ...

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Physical Therapy Caps Q/A

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Question: How do I code it so that PT services in a chiropractic office don’t count against their PT visit max? Is there a way to code claims so that they are considered chiropractic only? But still get compensated enough? We have been running into some issues as of late ...

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AMA Issues new CMT Information

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As many of you may already be keenly aware, there have been ongoing problems with many payers (e.g., BCBS of Ohio) regarding the appropriateness of reporting an E/M visit on the same day as CMT (CLICK HERE to read article). The AMA recently released an FAQ which renders their opinion ...

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Dry Needling

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The correct coding of dry needling, also known as trigger point needling, has been a subject of confusion for quite some time. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) have been working together for several years to obtain appropriate codes to describe this service. In ...

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2019 Coding Changes for Chiropractic

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The new year is upon us and so it’s time to double check and make sure we are ready. Those with Premium Membership can use the ChiroCode Online Library and search all the official code sets: ICD-10-CM, CPT, and HCPCS. It also includes the updated NCCI edits and RVUs for ...

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Flexion-Distraction Billing Clarification

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Recently we posted a Q/A with stated that Cox-flexion distraction was not billable with code 97012. We received a comment from a customer stating that was not entirely correct because there is an add-on to the standard Cox table which satisfied the mechanical requirements to use code 97012. This article ...

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Medicare Advantage Providers are not Required to be Enrolled in Medicare

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There was a ruling that was requiring providers to be enrolled in Medicare in order to provide services for Part C (Medicare Advantage (MA)) and/or Part D. However, on April 2, 2018, CMS released the 2019 Final Rules for MA and Part D which changed this previous ruling. According to ...

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Are HIPAA Changes Coming?

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On December 14, 2018, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a Request for Information (RFI). They are considering making changes to some of the HIPAA regulations. Earlier this year at the HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) meeting, Roger Severino, the head of the Office for Civil Rights ...

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Keeping Up to Date

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Keeping up to date on coding and documentation changes, is critical for medical coders, billers, auditors, and compliance personnel. Every year American Medical Association (AMA) creates, revises, and deletes CPT codes on January 1st. Same thing occurs with the ICD-10 codes in October. For CPT codes, the intention of the...

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Errors Billing Outpatient Services When Patient is also Inpatient

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The OIG recently reported that Medicare inappropriately paid acute-care hospitals for outpatient services provided to patients who were inpatients of another facility including long term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, inpatient psychiatric facilities, and critical access hospitals.  CMS suggests using the following resources to ensure compliance: Medicare Inappropriately Paid Acute-Care Hospitals for ...

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Billing Exercise Equipment

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While equipment for home strengthening is arguably good for the patient and the prognosis of their condition(s), payers have very strict guidelines as to what is considered medically necessary when it comes to Durable Medical Equipment (DME). While I have seen some workers compensation policies which do pay for DME ...

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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

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You simply need to read the headlines, posts, and tweets, about providers across the healthcare profession being audited, fined, and some even convicted, to see that the costs of non-compliance are real. We tell ourselves, “It won’t happen to me.” The reality is that it easily could. Your license is your livelihood.

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CMT Fees in 2019

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Now is the time to prepare. There were some minor reductions to the RVUs for CMT codes 90840-90843. Check here to see what those changes are.

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Billing 99211 Its not a freebie

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It seems like a simple code to bill, but CPT 99211 (established patient office visit) is by no means a freebie when it comes to documentation and compliance. This lowest level office visit code is sometimes called a "nurse visit" because CPT does not require that a physician be present...

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Muscle Testing and Range of Motion Information

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Be sure to understand the unique code requirements for Muscle and Range of Motion Testing.

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Q/A: Does My LMT need an NPI? How do I Bill Her Services?

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Question: I am setting up an LMT to work as employee under Dr. Clifton, DC. i need to know several things - hoping they are related and can be grouped into this one question.... does she need her own NPI? where does that NPI # go? what box #? if not, ...

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Coding Clinic Officially Defines Spondylolisthesis and Disc Disorder

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The Coding Clinic for ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS is a quarterly newsletter published by the American Hospital Association's Central Office (AHA). The information they publish is a joint effort of several organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the Centers for Medicare and ...

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Wolters Kluwer Drug Pricing

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Wolters Kluwer provides unit and package pricing for multiple drug price types: Average Wholesale Price (AWP), Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC), Direct Price (DP), Manufacturer's Suggested Wholesale Price (SWP), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Federal Upper Limit (CMS FUL), Average Average Wholesale Price (AAWP), Generic Equivalent Average Price (GEAP). Average...

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Q/A: What Diagnosis Codes Should I Use for TMJ Headache Massage for Coverage?

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Question: We have been receiving several DDS referrals to our massage therapists who do intra-oral work. The only problem is that the referral from the DDS lists code R51 for headaches as the only DX code. Since most plans don't cover massage therapy for headaches alone, are there any codes that can distinguish the headaches as ...

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Q/A: What Codes do I use for CLIA-Waived Tests?

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Question: I am a certified DOT medical examiner and have applied to get my CLIA lab (waiver) for urinalysis, finger prick blood tests for A1c, cholesterol and glucose. I realize I cannot diagnose patients with these tests, but I am using them to make decisions in the DOT process and with ...

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Chiropractic OIG Audit Recommendations - Lessons Learned

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The OIG recently concluded an audit on a chiropractic office located in Florida and had some significant findings. They recommended the following: Refund to the Federal Government the portion of the estimated $169,737 overpayment for claims for chiropractic services that did not comply with Medicare requirements and are within the 4-year ...

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HIPAA Handling Patient Requests for Medical Record Restriction

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Healthcare compliance professionals frequently face confusing situations about sharing of protected health information (PHI). The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) supports the protection of privacy of medical records. However, even when a patient does not authorize sharing of his record, there are permitted uses and disclosures, such as...

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Q/A: Do I Have to Accept Any New Patient?

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Question: Is it legal for us to not allow a patient to be seen in our office if their parents have bad debt with us?

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2019 Code Changes are Just Around the Corner - Are You Ready?

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The leaves are beginning to change and it’s time once again for the annual code changes for 2019. ICD-10-CM codes are out and will be effective October 1, 2018. CPT code changes also just came out and will be effective January 1, 2019. The ChiroCode DeskBook and ICD-10-CM Coding for Chiropractic books have been ...

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Finalized Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records Regulations

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In January, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued updates to the privacy regulations regarding the confidentiality of patient information of substance use disorder patients (42 CFR Part 2).  This notice included references to better alignment with HIPAA regulations, but did state that Part 2 is more protective ...

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PSAVE Pilot Program - What Does it Mean to You?

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Noridian's pilot program Provider Self-Audit with Validation and Extrapolation (PSAVE) has been extended which means that it has been successful for the payer, which means that they are saving money. Historically, when a pilot program is proven to be successful, it isn’t too long before other MACs follow. Before signing up to participate, providers need to carefully evaluate the program. Are the benefits worth the costs?

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Importance of Depression Screenings

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Why would a chiropractor be concerned about depression screenings when you aren’t trained to be a mental health provider? The answer lies in patient outcomes. Many quality care organizations recommend depression screenings for patients with a chronic condition. According to The National Institute of Mental Health, “People with other chronic ...

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Q/A: Can I Bill Mechanical Massage?

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Are there any alternative procedure codes for billing mechanical massage (e.g., muscle master vibromassage, genie rub, etc)? I know that 'by the book' mechanical devices are not covered under 97124, but wondered if you have suggested a go-around code.

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Are incident to services worth the risk

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Incident-to services allow non-physician practitioners (NPPs) such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants to bill under a supervising physician if they perform services that are incidental to a physician-created plan of care. Incident-to billing offers two key benefits: First, the physician is reimbursed at 100% of the contracted rate with...

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Q/A: How Do I Release a Patient from PI When They Still Have Problems?

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Once a PI patient is released with symptoms, or without symptoms, and a prognosis of likely exacerbations with a future medical estimation of $1500 over then next 2 years, how am I supposed to release them from care when they still have ongoing needs? We have discussed this with several different experts. The consensus is....

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Q/A: Is it Legal to Shred Archived Patient Records After a Certain Amount of Time?

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Shredding patient records. When is it appropriate? Read more to find out.

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Q/A: Can I Bill Spinal Decompression Table to Insurance?

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Are visits when a Chiropractor just uses a spinal decompression table billable to insurance? If so, what code is recommended?

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Attention Providers - Please Make Time to Read this Letter

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In an effort to show CMS is committed to changing the rules to accommodate their providers CMS released a letter to Doctors of Medicare Beneficiaries. The letter offers encouragement and a promise to reduce the burden of unnecessary rules and requirements. The letter states “President Trump has made it clear that ...

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Dual Medicare-Medicaid Billing Problems

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It is important to keep in mind that Medicaid is run at a state level so there can be some differences when it comes to coverage. However, the rules regarding balance billing of covered services is set at the federal level. The law states (emphasis added): A state plan must provide ...

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Q/A: Can You Swap Out 97140 with 97530?

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Codes 97140 and 97530 are not interchangeable. See why.

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WHO Said ICD-11 is Coming Soon

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Sooner or later ICD-11 will be released, and it sounds like it will be sooner than later. WHO released the news on June 18, 2018. The World Health Organization stated “ICD-11 will be presented at the World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption by Member States, and will come ...

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Q/A: Should I Bill Massage as 97124 or 97140?

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Question The code, 97124, Is specifically for massage but I have read that Insurance will more likely pay for 97140. Could we bill for whichever one pays? I believe that we have to indicate which area is used for CMT and which area for massage. Is it enough to document that ...

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Medicare Claim Submission Exceptions

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There are several exceptions to the Medicare "Mandatory Claim Submission Rule." What are they?

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Q/A: Can a PT Assistant Perform Physical Therapy Modalities?

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Whether or not a physical therapy assistant (PTA) may perform physical therapy modalities depends on two factors: state law and payer policies. Read here for more.

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Home Oxygen Therapy -- CMN for Oxygen

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The Certificate of Medical Necessity (CMN) for Oxygen is a required form that helps to document the medical necessity for oxygen therapy. It also documents other coverage criteria for the oxygen use. For payment on a home oxygen claim, the information in the supplier’s records or the patient’s medical record must be substantiated with the information in the CMN.

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Inappropriate Use of Units Costs Practice Over $800,000

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A recent OIG enforcement action emphasizes the need to understand the proper use of units. A healthcare provider in Connecticut improperly submitted multiple units for drug screening urine tests. The proper billing of units has proven to be problematic for more than just lab tests. Is your billing of drugs & biologicals, injections and timed codes appropriate?

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The Range of Motion Conundrum

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As both a chiropractor for 31 years and one who reviews a lot of medical records for the medicolegal arena and has been teaching documentation for many years, the range of motion question comes up frequently. Although we used to get reimbursed very well for a specific range of motion code back in ...

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Creating a Culture of Compliance in 2018

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This year (2018), healthcare organizations (Hospitals, Health Systems, and Physician Groups/Practices) must focus on the criticality of creating a culture of compliance to ensure effectiveness and efficiency. Focusing on "compliance"-only approaches leaves healthcare organizations exposed to areas of liability oftentimes far more than what they could ever imagine or even...

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Routine Waiver of Patient Out of Pocket Expenses

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Medical billers often encounter the dilemma of a physician who wants to be the hero to his or her patients and waive their out-of-pocket expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses include a patient's co-payment, coinsurance, deductibles, charges above U&C (Usual and Customary), and even services a plan may not cover in some situations....

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What is a Legal Hold and e Discovery Anyway

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Whether I am assisting clients or presenting, I am often asked about legal holds and e-discovery. The transition from paper to electronic records, which include emails, computer faxes, protected health information ("PHI"), personally identifiable information ("PII") and documents that are created, received, maintained or transmitted in an electronic format created...

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Q/A: Am I Supposed to List the Frequency and Duration on the ABN?

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How to fill out Box D (Services) on the ABN form. What information is required?

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Q/A: How Do I Respond to a Patient's Request to Not Submit the Claim to Their Insurance?

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A number of patients now have high deductible plans. Sometimes, deductibles can be $5000 or $10,000. My payer contract states that I must submit all claims to insurance for covered services. However, sometimes patients with these high deductibles come to my office and state that they would prefer to receive a modest discount for paying cash and in turn, not have their services submitted to insurance. As a doctor, this places me in a tough situation. Do I follow the patient's wishes or the payer contract?

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The Devil is in the Data Details

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As an auditor who has reviewed thousands and thousands of encounter documents for level of service, a predictable pattern has merged when it comes to the Medical Decision Making (MDM) component that has attracted my attention.

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CEU’s Now Available

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 CEU’s are now available for the following Webinars:        Practice Risk Areas, Presented by Brandy Brimhall   (1 CEU)        Secrets of Chiropractic Documentation, Presented by Compliant Coding Systems.  (4 CEU’s)  CEUs are available in the following states: Alaska Connecticut District of Columbia Idaho   Indiana Iowa Kansas Maine   Maryland Massachusetts Minnesota Montana Nebraska Nevada New Jersey North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oregon Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Utah Washington Vermont Virginia Wyoming Puerto Rico Nova Scotia       NOTE:   "Additional states may be ...

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Q/A: Should I be Using Modifier 96 on PT Claims?

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As chiropractors we feel the new modifier 97 is more appropriate than 96 for our PT codes such as stim and traction. Yet Carefirst is asking for 96 only. Should we use this code on all the PT codes and for all the other insurance companies?

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Q/A: Someone Broke into My Office. What do I do Now?

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My office was broken into last night. I use electronic health records, but we do store some protected health information for my patients in paper files. These files are not secured, so the burglars did have access to them. It did not appear that the files were touched as the burglars were looking for cash. What responsibilities to I have to my patients in a situation like this? Do I need to contact them and advise them that their PHI could have been compromised?

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The PSAVE Pilot Program: Should You Self-Audit Your Medicare Claims?

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As the Medicare program has grown, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has employed a variety of different claims audit mechanisms to better ensure that the Medicare Trust Fund is protected from waste, fraud and abuse....

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Billing Nutrition Counseling in a Chiropractic Setting

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Billing nutrition counseling services may not be as straight-forward as you might think. Some providers mistakenly choose Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) codes (97802-97804, G0270, G0271) because it states nutrition therapy in the title. However, according to CPT guidelines, when MNT assessment and/or intervention is performed by a physician or qualified healthcare professional ...

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CMS Compliance Guidelines Focused Trainings

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Since the publication of the Compliance Program Guidelines in 2012, the Medicare Part C & D Oversight and Enforcement Group, Division of Compliance Enforcement, has presented a series of focused trainings for the industry on the application of the seven elements of an effective compliance program. These trainings are designed ...

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When is 97112 Neuromuscular Re-education Billable?

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Q: I just received a note from an attorney regarding a patient who was rear ended about 40 mph and ended up with neuropathy in her upper and lower extremities. We treated her for about 3 months after previous care failed to give much relief. I used flexion distraction and deep muscle stimulation to break up adhesions from the injury and used the 97112 code of neuromuscular re-education. The insurance company said that code was not warranted for her spinal sprain diagnosis and denied all of the services. Do you know how I could justify it? It greatly improved her condition with each visit and the patient said we provided the greatest relief she received.

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Documentation for Home Health Services (Part A non DRG)

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The Medical Learning Network provides coverage guidance, which should be documented, for home health services.

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Documentation for Skilled Nursing Facilities

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The Medicare Learning Network provides guidance on required documentation for Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF).

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OIG Issues Renewed Focus on Chiropractic Services

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The OIG recently released a "Portfolio" regarding chiropractic service which stated (emphasis added): This portfolio presents an overview of program vulnerabilities identified in prior Office of Inspector General (OIG) audits, evaluations, investigations, and legal actions related to chiropractic services in the Medicare program. It consolidates the findings and issues identified in ...

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The Comprehensive Error Rate Testing Program

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With nearly a million physicians in this country, how do auditing organizations determine whom to audit?

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Scoring & Reporting Your Audit Findings

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This week we had a great question posted to our online forum, and I thought it would be a nice thought- provoking question for our auditing and compliance tip of the week.

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OIG Reviews Medicare Advantage Claims

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On January 16, 2018, the OIG released a report of their findings on claims data for Medicare Advantage plans. While it appears that there were not significant issues, they did find that: "Types of potential errors included inactive or invalid billing provider identifiers; duplicated service lines; missing required data; inconsistent dates; ...

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Strapping and Kinesio Taping Coding Differences

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There are differences between the purposes of strapping and taping and using the correct codes depends on the application - literally. Strapping: This application is for the purpose of immobilizing an area. It is clinically indicated for the treatment of fractures, dislocations, sprains/strains, tendonitis, post-op reconstruction, contractures, or other deformities involving soft tissue. Coding: ...

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Traumatic Subluxation Coding Controversy

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There has been some controversy over the use of the ICD-10-CM subluxation codes commonly referred to as traumatic (S13.1-, S23.1-, and S33.1-). Are they appropriate for chiropractors to use? The answer to that question is complicated. The problem basically lies in the lack of official guidance and differing opinions on ...

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Mobile Health: Growing Engagement and New Responsibilities

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This week I'm blogging about an M-word. Not MACRA or MIPS, but Mobile Health or mHealth....

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Q/A: Can I Perform 2 Untimed Codes at the Same Time?

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Question: Can two untimed codes be performed at the same time? For instance can I perform lumbar traction (97012) at the same time as e-stim (97014)?

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Developing Coding Policies for Compliance

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Every physician practice depends upon correct coding and billing for their financial success. Coding drives reimbursement. All of the resources available for coding information and guidance are meaningless without the practice manager translating it into provider-specific coding policies and compliance plan. As a practice manager, you need to develop a ...

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Dental and Medical- Controlled Substance Awareness

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As an effort to cut down on opioid abuse and related crimes, in August of 2017 the Attorney General Sessions established a new Department of Justice (DOJ) section called “Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit”. Due to the serious public health issue and drug overdose deaths, this unit was established and ...

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Creating a Culture of Compliance in 2018

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This year (2018), health care organizations (Hospitals, Health Systems and Physician Groups/Practices) must focus on the criticality of creating a culture of compliance to ensure effectiveness and efficiency....

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HIPAA and the Opioid Crisis

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HIPAA and the Opioid Crisis guidance released by HHS.

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NEW on Find-A-Code...National Coverage Determinations (NCDs)

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Medicare limits its coverage of services to those considered to be reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of an injury or illness based on coverage guidelines. National Coverage Determinations (NCDs) are created based on research, evidence-based processes, public participation, and other resources, and made available to the public. ...

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Compliance: What is it and Why is it Important

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Compliance. It is one of the buzz words in healthcare that is heard all the time but what is it really, and why is it so important?

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Patient Relationship Codes

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Section 1848(r)(4) of MACRA requires that claims submitted for items and services furnished by a physician or applicable practitioner on or after January 1, 2018, include codes for the following: care episode groups patient condition groups patient relationship categories Previously, CMS decided to use procedure code modifiers to report patient relationship codes on Medicare ...

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Medicare Requiring Specific Modifiers on Therapy Services

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Medicare's MLN Matters Number: MM10176 was recently revised to identify services subject to their therapy cap. The revision became effective on January 1, 2018 and some providers have begun to receive claim rejections because they are not using the appropriate modifier. The article states the following: Services furnished under the Outpatient ...

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Billing with a GP Modifier

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Q: When patients have a true Medicare secondary insurance we've always billed other Medicare non-covered codes such as G0283 for electric stimulation with modifier GY because we are aware Medicare will not pay for that service but the secondary insurance does. We just were notified by our MAC that GY is not a valid modifier and I have to enter a GP or other therapy modifier. What is the new proper modifier to enter?

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Should ROM Testing be Reported with Evaluation and Management Services?

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Reporting the performance of range of motion testing (95851-95852) at the same encounter of an Evaluation and Management (EM) service, produces an NCCI edit resulting in payment for the EM service and denial of the ROM testing. Read the article to learn what other codes ROM testing is considered incidental to.

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Quality Payment Program in 2018

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I checked the government website to see if I am an eligible clinician and it says that I am not. I just don't want to get blindsided with a letter saying I will be penalized. Is there anything you would suggest or recommend that I do now to protect myself from future penalties. Thank you

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