"All Specialties" & "Fraud" Articles


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Understanding ASCs and APCs: Indicators and Place of Service

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The decision regarding the most appropriate care setting for a given surgical procedure is determined by the physician based on the patient's individual clinical needs and preferences. Of course, there is a difference in reimbursement, and the billing depends on where the procedure took place, such as an office setting, inpatient ...

Is Your Organization Ready to Deal with Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Audit Contractors?

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Audits are currently underway to verify the monies distributed through the CARES Act were warranted and properly used by those organizations that received them. The federal government has contracted with financial institutions such as KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers, among others, to perform these audits referred to as Provider Relief Fund (PRF) audit contractors, funded with monies from the very same program. There were four phases of funding disbursements with phase 1 audits beginning in September. How ready are you to be audited?

Five Major ICD-10-CM Changes That Can Effect Your Organization

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Have you had a chance to review the new ICD-10-CM codes for FY 2022? Did you know that many payers do not want to see unspecified codes when there is a possibility for better data? How adept are you at assigning and sequencing COVID-19 codes? Take a minute to review 5 of the major changes to the FY2022 ICD-10-CM code updates and claim your chance to watch our most recent webinar where we review the newest code updates.

ICD-10-CM Cracks Down on the Use of "Unspecified" in the 2021 Official Guidelines

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We always knew there would come a day when payers would look down on an "unspecified" diagnosis code and possibly even deny it or delay payment until a review of the record could be performed. ICD-10-CM was adopted by the U.S. for data analytics, which cannot be accurate if unspecified codes are reported when the documentation verifies greater specificity. Join us for a look at the many guideline changes to ICD-10-CM, a review of the newest code changes and suggestions on documentation improvement to elevate coding protocols.

Injection Services

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Injection Service Codes Injection service codes, are reported under administration of vaccines/toxoids, using 96372, 90460, 90461, 90471, 90472, 0001A, 0002A, 0003A, 0011A, 0012A, 0021A, 0022A, 0031A, 0041A, and 0042A. Other injections services include: Non-antineoplastic hormonal therapy injections – 96372 Anti-neoplastic nonhormonal injection therapy 96401 Anti-neoplastic hormonal injection therapy- 96402 Allergen immunotherapy - 95115-95117 According to CMS, do ...

Understanding How Place of Service Codes Work

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The Place of service (POS) codes are used by CMS, Medicaid, and other private insurance to indicate where medically related items and services are sold or dispensed for a patient. POS codes are used for professional billing and are required to be reported on each claim submitted on a CMS-1500 ...

Medicare's ABN Booklet Revised

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The “Medicare Advance Written Notices of Non-coverage” booklet, published by CMS’s Medicare Learning Network, was updated. This article discusses the changes to this booklet regarding the use of the ABN.

Chronic Pain Coding Today & in the Future

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Properly documenting and coding chronic pain can be challenging. As is commonly the case with many conditions, over the years, there has been a shift in the identification of different types of pain, including chronic pain. Understanding where we are now and where we are going will help your organization prepare for the future by changing documentation patterns now.

Compliance in the Dental Office or Small Practice

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If your practice does not already have a compliance program in place, you will want to get started after reading this article. We have uncovered some important findings with the Office of Inspector General (OIG) in dental practices you need to be aware of. A compliance program offers standard procedures to follow, ...

Understanding Non-face-to-face Prolonged Services (99358-99359) in 2021

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Due to the extensive changes in office or other outpatient services (99202-99215), there are many questions which still need to be answered, one of which is related to the prolonged services without face-to-face contact. This article explores the question regarding the appropriate use of codes 99358/99359 and how to report it.

Managed Care Organizations Use CMS Tools to Identify Outliers

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Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) include risk-adjusted plans whose funding is based on the health status of their beneficiaries. Government-funded MCOs use CMS information to search for suspected cases of fraud and abuse.

OIG Plans for Onslaught of Risk Adjustment Audits Claiming 9.5% Error Rate in Code Assignment

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As the OIG has published their intent to further investigate the 9.5% of improper payments based on incorrect ICD-10-CM code assignation, they implore Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to begin employing some of the CMS tools and data analytic programs used to help identify outliers.

Why Will Medicare Administrative Contractors be Holding Claims Up?

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When Congress passed the expansive American Rescue Plan Act last month, most Americans were focused on the direct payment provision of the bill. However healthcare administrators and policymakers had their attention on another aspect: cuts to Medicare payments. Why would Congress be cutting Medicare payments during the COVID-19 Public Health ...

ICD-11 — What’s Happening?

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ICD-11 is officially released, but what does that mean for diagnosis coding in the United States? What's really different? This article discusses what has been happening with ICD-11, some interesting things to note about it, as well as links to other important information.

Q/A: For E/M, How do I Count Tests Ordered in One Department and Performed in Another?

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Question: I am in an ENT office as part of a large clinic with separate practices including audiology, CT, and allergy, all billing under the same TAX ID. Sometimes tests are ordered which are done in other departments that my office does not bill for, would those be considered an outside source? Answer: This is a great question and one that has been asked by many coders and auditors.

Evaluation & Management (E/M) Webinar Q/A

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Find answers to some questions asked by attendees of our recent webinar regarding the changes released by the AMA in their March 9, 2021 Errata and Technical Corrections document in relation to Evaluation & Management (E/M).

How Reporting E/M Based on Time May Lose Money

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Just like math teachers who require students to show their work so they can see how the student reached their answer, providers are also required to "show their work" through the documentation process in the medical record. By the time a provider has reviewed the patient's subjective complaints (i.e., patient's ...

Critical Evaluation and Management Changes Recently Announced by AMA

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On March 9, 2021, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced some pretty significant changes in relation to reporting Evaluation and Management (E/M) services, particularly for Office or Other Outpatient Services (99202-99215). The AMA Editorial Panel had previously met to discuss how to address concerns and made changes surrounding Office or Other Outpatient Services which are retroactive to January 1, 2021. Learn more about those changes in this article.

How Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Data Enhances Risk Adjustment

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The role of SDOH in overall patient care and outcomes has become a more common topic of discussion among healthcare providers, payers, and policymakers alike. All are attempting to identify and collect SDOH and correlate the data to patient management which is increasingly seen as necessary to address certain health disparities and identify exactly how SDOH affects patient health outcomes. Learn how to address this important subject.

COVID Vaccinations — FREE Legal and Ethical Considerations Webinar

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Learn about legal and ethical implications of the COVID-19 vaccine with this free webinar held on Wednesday, February, 24, 2021.

Why CMS Created G2212 for Prolonged Services Instead of 99417

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This article discusses WHY CMS decided to create code G2212 to be used with prolonged office Evaluation and Management (E/M) services instead of code 99417 as of January 1, 2021. The proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule stated that code 99417 would be used so it is essential to understand why they made this change to avoid potential problems with billing these services.

How To Properly Report Prolonged Services Using 99417 or G2212

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Prolonged Evaluation & Management codes underwent big changes in 2021, including the creation of a new prolonged code (99417), reportable only with codes 99205 or 99215. While Medicare has agreed to accept the AMA's CPT E/M coding changes, they have formulated an opinion contrary to how CPT calculates time specific ...

New Procedure Codes for the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine

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On January 19, 2021, the AMA announced two new CPT codes for reporting the Janssen Pharmaceutica (a division of Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine. Of course, just as with the other COVID-19 vaccines, they must be given FDA approval for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to be administered before the codes can be reported. As is ...

Looking Beyond an Employee's Coding Credentials

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In today's ever-changing healthcare environment, it is important that organizations hire coding and reimbursement personnel who enjoy learning. Each year changes are made in how healthcare services are coded and reported from federal and state laws, the code sets themselves, and varying payer policies. During the public health emergency (PHE) ...

HIPAA Penalty Changes

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On January 5, 2021, H.R. 7898 was signed into law by President Trump. This new law modifies the HITECH Act such that when an organization experiences a breach, fines and/or penalties may be reduced if (for at least a year) they have instituted “recognized security practices” as defined within the law.

Updated Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute Regulations Aimed at Improving Coordinated Care

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The transformation of the American healthcare system from a primarily fee-for-service system to one based on value has been one of astonishing speed and scope, touching every aspect of health care. Changes of this scale inevitably have ripple effects that impact other laws and regulations,  outdating them or highlighting inadequacies ...

What is the Difference Between the Medicare 1995 and 1997 Documentation Guidelines for E/M Services?

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When Medicare determined that providers could follow EITHER the 1995 OR the 1997 Documentation Guidelines for Evaluation and Management Services to determine which level of E/M service to report, because CMS had not clarified that portions of the 1995 and 1997 guidelines could be used together to determine the level of ...

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...

Modifier 50 — Four "Must Know" Tips For Getting Paid

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Modifiers added to an HCPCS or CPT© code alters the code description, providing clarity about the service for proper claim processing and reimbursement. Here are four things you must know about modifier 50 to ensure proper payment. - Modifiers are either informational or payment related. Informational modifiers provide additional...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

ICD-10-CM - Supplement information for E-Cigarette/Vaping Reporting

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The CDC has released additional information and coding guidance for reporting encounters related to the 2019 health care encounters and deaths related to e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI).  The update offers coding scenarios for general guidance, poisoning and toxicity, substance abuse and signs and symptoms.  ICD-10-CM Official Coding Guidelines - ...

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.

Clarify the Complexity Please! NDC Codes and Drug Classification Systems

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Different Drug classification systems are used to categorize drugs to identify the medication, with each system having their own logic. There are four main drug classification systems used in the United States, not to be confused with a class of drugs or "Drug Class". A drug class is the way drugs ...

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 ...

Dismal OIG Report on Telemedicine

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Providers need to understand the rules for reporting telemedicine services. A recent OIG report shows that this is not the case. What problems are being found in documentation claims? As providers are expanding their telehealth offerings, now is the time to understand the potential pitfalls since disallowed amounts will be taken back.

Hypertension ICD-10-CM Coding Table, Guidelines, and Tips

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Coding hypertension properly requires knowing all the guidelines. This article summarizes how hypertension is coded using ICD-10-CM and includes tips, definitions and a very helpful coding table summarizing your options.

CMS Temporarily Suspends Contract-Level RADV Audits

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is suspending contract-level RADV audits, related to the payment year 2015 and will not initiate any new ones until after the public health emergency has ended. Any documentation already submitted will be reviewed as usual.

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.

Financial Impact of CARES Act on Healthcare Providers

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The recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has several provisions to ease the financial burden being faced by healthcare providers who have been impacted by the effect of the coronavirus. Learn more about how the Provider Relief Fund and the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program work.

External Cause Status Coding (Y99)

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This innoviHealth book (i.e., ICD-10-CM Coding, Reimbursement Guide) resource discusses requirements for properly coding external causes. Mandatory reporting of these codes is not always required by all payers and even when they are required, it might only be in certain situations (e.g., drug overdose, personal injury).

"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 ...

New HCPCS Code for Coronavirus Testing Announced

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Currently, healthcare providers testing patients for Coronavirus must use an unspecified code. To provide better tracking, on February 13, 2020, CMS announced the creation of a new HCPCS code.

Inadequate Exclusion Screenings Could Put Your Practice at Risk

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Exclusion screenings require far more than just checking a name on a federal database at the time you are hiring someone. Far too many providers don’t realize that in order to meet compliance requirements, there is MUCH more involved. There are actually over 40 exclusion screening databases/lists that need to be checked.

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 ...


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