"All Specialties" & "HCPCS Coding" Articles


Click on the title to see the article summary and a link to the full article.


New Codes for COVID Booster Vaccine & Monoclonal Antibody Products

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New codes have been announced for the COVID-19 booster vaccine, Novavax vaccine, and monoclonal antibody treatment.

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.

Chronic Care Management Services

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This article discusses some of the different Chronic Care Management (CCM) Services found in both the CPT and HCPCS code sets. CCM is not the same as Case Management Services in that case management has to do with “coordinating, managing access to, initiating, and/or supervising'' patient healthcare services whereas CCM services also require the patient to have a condition(s) which is expected to last at least a year or until their death.

Comparison of Add-On Code Guidelines

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Add-on codes are codes that are not intended to be reported alone. They are reported with another primary procedure to identify that additional services have been provided in conjunction with that primary procedure. Generally, they include the words “List separately in addition to code.” Interestingly, there are some differences in the instructions/guidelines regarding the use of these codes in the CPT® codebook, the NCCI Policy Manual, and on the CMS website. This article outlines the differences between each of these.

New Communication Technology-Based Services (CTBS) Codes for Nonphysicians

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Medicare continues to expand the number of services provided via technology. There are some interesting new codes for nonphysician practitioners (NPPs) (e.g., psychologists, physical therapists) that became effective on January 1, 2021. Communication Technology-Based Services (CTBS), also known as virtual check-ins, describe specific short provider-patient communications which are initiated by the patient.

58% of Improper Payments due to Medical Necessity for Ventilators

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Proper documentation not only protects the provider, the payer, and the patient, it protects the integrity of the entire healthcare system. When it comes to coverage and documentation for durable medical, the DMEPOS supplier and staff must be familiar with the National and Local Coverage Determinations (NCDs and LCDs) as these are ...

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.

How to Combat COVID-Related Risk Adjustment Losses with the Medicare Annual Wellness Exam

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Identifying new ways to encourage Medicare beneficiaries to schedule and attend their Annual Wellness Exam (AWE) can be difficult, but the Open Enrollment period is a prime time for every payer to identify new beneficiaries and provide a reminder to both new and existing patients that this preventive service does ...

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-19 Vaccines

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To accommodate the new COVID-19 immunizations the CPT editorial panel has approved 11 Category I codes. Watch for new and revised guidelines and parenthetical notes with these codes. For example; which administration codes should be used with the vaccine codes and the NCD codes applicable to the dose being administered. These ...

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.

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

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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) ...

Good and Bad News Regarding the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

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When the proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule came out last year, it really got everyone worried. In a time where we are all facing issues related to COVID, this seemed like a really big problem. Professional organizations lobbied and everyone tried to stop the proposed changes, and the 10.2% decrease didn’t happen, but other changes will still be taking place. So how bad is it really and how will it affect your organization?

Instructions for Looking up IOM References in innoviHealth's HCPCS Publication

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These instructions help owners of innoviHealth's HCPCS Coding for 2021 book access the references to Medicare's Internet-only Manuals (IOMs) which are copies of official program instructions, policies, and procedures that are based on statutes, regulations, guidelines, models, and directives.

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.

CMS Final Rule Changes E/M Reporting Guidelines

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Just when we thought we had figured out Evaluation and Management (E/M) reporting for 2021, CMS released their final rule and now we will need to make some adjustments. While CMS stated that they were adopting the AMA guidelines for E/M office or other outpatient services, they did make a few changes.

CMS Final Rule Changes E/M Reporting Guidelines

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Just when we thought we had figured out Evaluation and Management (E/M) reporting for 2021, CMS released their final rule and now we will need to make some adjustments. While CMS stated that they were adopting the AMA guidelines for E/M office or other outpatient services, they did make a few changes.

Final Rule on Communications Technology and 2021 Physicians Fee Schedule

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To create a healthcare system that will benefit providers as well as Medicare beneficiaries there have been several new rules issued that begin on or after January 01, 2021. CMS released the final policy and payment provisions on December 01, 2020, which includes the physician fee schedule (PFS) for 2021. ...

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 ...

Not Following the Rules Costs Chiropractor $5 Million

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Every healthcare office needs to know and understand the rules that apply to billing services and supplies. What lessons can we learn from the mistakes of others? What if we have made the same mistake?

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...

Coding Injections for Pain Management

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Coding for pain management can get confusing. How many injections, the location, and when to use a modifier are all common questions. This article will cover some of the most common injections used in pain management. Trigger Point Injections Trigger point injections are reported by how many muscles are treated using an ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Additional Practice Reopening Tips

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As practices begin reopening across the nation, there are several things that need to be considered. Policies and Procedures Manuals need to be updated, malpractice carriers need to be contacted and everyone needs to consider mental health screenings and support.

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 ...

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.

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.

Emergency Room and Ancillary Services

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Billing for an Emergency department is not the same as billing for a hospital or in the provider's office; there are several differences and requirements. For example. the hospital will report a stay with Diagnosis Related Groups (DRG's), which include hospital resources used during the patient's stay, while office visits ...

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 ...

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.

Medicare Released the Amount they Will pay for COVID Testing Eff 4/14/2020

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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.

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

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).

Providing Telehealth Services During COVID-19 Crisis

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The rules for providing telehealth services during this pandemic have changed and some requirements have been waived. Please keep in mind that “waiving requirements” does not mean that anything goes. Another important consideration is that Medicare and private payers may likely have different rules so you need to make sure that you know individual payer requirements during this time.

LATEST COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR BILLING NON-FACE-TO-FACE SERVICES

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Healthcare providers and the population at large are concerned about safe access to care considering the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we have received many inquiries this week about how to bill for “telehealth” services. Let’s first address that true telehealth services have some pretty stringent requirements from CMS, including that ...

"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 ...

Implementing Telehealth Visits

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The following is a step-by-step guide on how to convert office-based encounters to telehealth encounters during the current COVID-19 pandemic. These rules may change post-pandemic, as many changes relaxing existing rules were made on a temporary basis by CMS and commercial payers to facilitate patient access and minimize risk of infection. Step ...

Additional Coronavirus Testing Code Announced

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On March 13, 2020, a new CPT code was announced by the American Medical Association (AMA) who maintains the CPT code set. This early release of a CPT code is rare and is effective immediately.

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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