"Chiropractic" & "Compliance" & "Topic Pages" & "Medicare" Articles


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


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

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

COVID Vaccine Codes Announced

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On November 10, 2020, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced the addition of two new codes which will be used for the new COVID-19 vaccines along with 4 new administration codes to be used when reporting the administration of these vaccines.

Locating Periodontal Disease in ICD-10-CM

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

Staging and Grading Periodontitis

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We now understand periodontitis may present itself as a manifestation of systemic diseases in fact; according to DeltaDental, research shows that more than 90 percent of all systemic diseases have oral manifestations, including swollen gums, mouth ulcers, dry mouth, and excessive gum problems. Some of these diseases include: Diabetes Leukemia Oral cancer Pancreatic cancer Heart ...

Incident To

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Just about any large clinic you visit will have non-physician practitioners, or NPPs. These will include physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurses for example. Practices and clinics can bill under the NPPs if they are credentialed with the payer, but the reimbursement is only 85% of the fee schedule. There ...

OIG – Fraud and Abuse Study with COVID-19 Testing

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According to the Office of Inspector General (OIG), “The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to an unprecedented demand for diagnostic laboratory testing to determine whether an individual has the virus. Beyond the COVID-19 tests, laboratories can also perform add-on tests, for example, to confirm or rule out diagnoses ...

Medicare Improper Payment Report for Chiropractic (2019)

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CMS audits claims on an annual basis to identify improper payments. These improper payments do not measure fraud. Rather, they estimate the share of payments that did not meet Medicare coverage, coding, and billing rules. In the most recent Improper Payment Report by specialty, chiropractic has the highest Part B improper payment ...

Medicare Improper Payment Report for Behavioral Health Services (2019)

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CMS audits claims on an annual basis to identify improper payments. These improper payments do not measure fraud. Rather, they estimate the share of payments that did not meet Medicare coverage, coding, and billing rules. In the most recent Improper Payment Report, behavioral health services have some of the highest Part ...

Medicare Improper Payment Report (2019)

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The Medicare Improper Payment Report for 2019 has been released by the OIG. Please note that the improper payment rate does not measure fraud. Rather, it estimates the payments that did not meet Medicare coverage, coding, and billing rules. The estimated Medicare FFS payment accuracy rate (claims paid correctly) from July ...

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

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

An Infectious Disease Control Plan is Essential

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Every business encounters infections. The COVID-10 pandemic has only highlighted this fact, but considering that infectious diseases, such as the seasonal flu, are an ongoing problem, all organizations need to implement an Infectious Disease Control Plan as part of an active compliance plan because it’s required by law. Your organization must take steps to mitigate this risk to both patients and employee

New Codes for Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS)

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New codes for Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS) are effective October 1, 2020 based on the grade/severity of the symptoms. This article covers the new grading scales.

ICD-10-CM 2021 Coding Updates for Chiropractic

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October 1st is just around the corner and that means it’s time for updates to the ICD-10-CM code set. This year there are some interesting changes such as a new headache type, new codes related to TMJ, several new codes for reporting accidents involving micro-mobility devices (e.g., hoverboard), and some other changes.

Locating a Diagnosis Code in ICD-10-CM for Dental Offices

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Diagnosis codes used to report with procedures are called ICD-10-CM - International Statistical Classification of Diseases. These codes are published annually in October. To find a diagnosis code in ICD-10-CM, it is important to understand how the chapters and sections are set up. Each chapter is broken down into sections and ...

My Location and CBSA is Missing!

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We often get questions on missing Core Based Statistical Areas, known as CBSAs. CBSAs are used for pricing and other factors according to the geographical location. If you do not see your CBSA, it is important to note they are not missing - it may not have an assignment, according to ...

Important Podcast on Dental to Medical Billing

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Be sure and check out this discussion with LaMont Leavitt (CEO of innoviHealth) and Christine Taxin (Adjunct professor at New York University, President of Dental Medical Billing, and Links2Success).  Some of the resources and tools they discuss will help you with your dental coding/billing and education. Do You Have All the Right ...

More COVID-19 Codes Added as of September 8, 2020

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The American Medical Association (AMA) recently announced the addition of two more CPT codes in relation to COVID and the Public Health Emergency (PHE). Codes 99702 and 86413 were posted to the AMA website on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 and new guidelines have been added as well.

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?

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

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

Is COVID-19 Causing Risk Adjustment “Gotcha’s”?

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The COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) has created some possible problems when it comes to risk adjustment. Be sure your organization has implemented policies and procedures to try and overcome these new hurdles.

New and Exciting Changes in the Dental Industry

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My colleagues and I are nerds for information on all things billable—or not billable—in the worlds of dental and medical insurance. One of the most puzzling challenges for me over the past 15 years of teaching has been to understand why we on the dental side are segregated out of ...

Ultrasound - A Complete Exam Must Include the Following

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Real time scanning of the kidneys Abdominal aorta Common iliac artery origins Inferior vena cava Alternaltively, if ultrasonography is being performed to evaluate the urinary tract, examination of the kidneys and urinary bladder constitutes a complete exam. Code 76775 is used when a limited retroperitoneal ultrasound examination is performed. ...

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...

Impact of 2021 Proposed Medicare Fee Schedule on Chiropractic Offices

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On August 3, 2020, the proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for 2021 was released. This 1,355 page document includes some sweeping changes to the Medicare program. There are a few items in particular which should be noted by chiropractic offices.

Coding with PCS When There is No Code

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ICD-10-PCS covers ALMOST everything! But not quite! What if a body system does not contain a body part for toes or fingers? What about an elbow? When it does not cover what you are looking for, where do you turn?  To the guidelines, of course! There are ICD-10-PCS guidelines just as ...

OIG Report Highlights Need to Understand Guidelines

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A new OIG report once again highlights the necessity for organizations to fully understand requirements for reporting services and having proper documentation. The types of problems addressed in this report are ongoing issues for multiple types of services and specialties and for many different payers.

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

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

New Grouper Added for Skilled Nursing

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The additional grouper for Skilled Nursing, sometimes referred to as (PDPM), is used for classifying SNF patients in a covered Part A stay. This grouper is included with our Home Health Grouper.  Current groupers/calculators include: Home Health PDGM (Patient-Driven Grouping Model) Skilled Nursing Facility PDPM (Patient-Driven Payment Model) What is it? According to CMS, In ...

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

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

Are NCCI Edits and Modifiers Just for Medicare?

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

New Name Same Great Product! "HCC Plus"

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Payment Adjustment Rules for Multiple Procedures and CCI Edits

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

New ABN Form is Here

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The anticipated changes to the Advanced Beneficiary Notice of Non-coverage (ABN) Form (CMS-R-131) have arrived. This important form is issued to the patient or client by providers, physicians, practitioners, and suppliers in situations where Medicare payment is expected to be denied. You can begin using the new ABN immediately if you so wish. However, it becomes mandatory on August 31, 2020.

Understanding UCR Inpatient Fees used on DRGs

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HCPCS Codes Were NOT all Created for the Same Purpose

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

Additional COVID-19 Testing Codes Announced

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

CMS- Reminder COVID Assessment and Specimen Collection

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On March 1, 2020, new codes and rules were released to bill for COVID-19 symptom and exposure assessments, as well as specimen collection. CMS has recently sent out reminders on billing for these services, the proper use of the CS modifier on claims, and how they are handling denials due ...

Should I Bill Dental or Medical?

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While you likely find yourself focusing on fewer patients and more on emergency care, it’s a good time to understand how medical billing can allow patients with active infection in the oral cavity to seek the treatment they need.  Forms need to be filled out correctly, and you must carefully follow ...

Newest Launch - We Now Have Outpatient Facility Pricing!

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

MEGA - NCCI Edit Changes - WHO Knew?

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

Proposed Risk Adjustment Changes

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On June 2, 2020, HHS published two proposed changes to the Risk Adjustment Data Validation (RADV) protocols for HHS-Operated Risk Adjustment Programs.

Watch for Payer Telehealth Coverage Changes

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As our country moves forward with a phased approach to reopening, be sure to pay close attention to individual payer policies regarding how long these changes will remain in effect. Keep in mind that private payer, federal programs (Medicare, Medicaid), and Medicare Advantage plans can all have different timelines as well as different coverage.

Changes in Medicare Advantage and Part D

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services finalized several changes in Medicare Advantage and Part D on Friday.  The Trump administration has finalized several changes in Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D in anticipation of bid submissions on June 1. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released  Friday that includes ...

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.

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

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

Packaging and Units for Billing Drugs

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

Are Diagnoses from Telehealth Services Eligible for Risk Adjustment?

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

Getting Your Practice Back on Track

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As we begin returning back to work, we will all face a new normal. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of business. While it has certainly been a challenge to keep up with the ever-changing regulations (that’s likely to continue for a little longer), exciting new opportunities have also been created, such as the expansion of telemedicine. There’s also the maze of government funding that needs to be navigated and an increased awareness of OSHA standards to implement.

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.

CMS- Change in Funding for COVID-19 Economic Impact

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On Sunday night April 26, 2020, CMS announced they will no longer be "accepting any new applications for the Advance Payment Program, and CMS will be reevaluating all pending and new applications for Accelerated Payments in light of historical direct payments made available through HHS’ Provider Relief Fund." The COVID-19 Pandemic has ...

Effective Risk Adjustment Requires Accurate Calculations

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Risk adjustment is simply a way of making sure that there are sufficient funds to adequately take care of the healthcare needs of a certain population. It’s a predictive modeling methodology based on the diagnoses of the individuals in that population. As payers move to value based models, they heavily rely on risk adjustment to ensure proper funding.

COVID-19 Clinical Trial Participation Helps Providers Earn MIPS Credit

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All healthcare providers who are currently participating in the MIPS portion of Medicare’s Quality Payment Program may want to participate in the new COVID-19 Clinical Trials improvement activity. Read more about it here.

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 ...

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

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

Now That is Fraud! Genetic Testing "Public alert"

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

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.

New CPT® Codes Approved for COVID-19 Antibody Identification

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

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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ADA is Asking for HELP with Third-Party Payers for Dentists

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With these unprecedented and extraordinary circumstances, dentists are facing new challenges with reimbursement with what is allowed and covered under their contractual obligations with their payers. The ADA recognizes the struggles dental providers are facing and is urging third-party payers to adopt new reimbursement procedures and adjust their fee schedules to help ...

CPT Coding Guidance on New Lab Code for COVID-19

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

COVID-19 Chiropractic Resources

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COVID-19 Chiropractic Resources contains current, updated information regarding COVID-19. Included are lists of webinars, articles, websites and links pertaining to the ongoing changes.

CMS Important Information on COVID-19 Released

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

CMS Announces Final 2021 HCC Risk Adjustment Changes

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

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.

ICD-10-CM Official Coding and Reporting Guidelines Updated for COVID-19

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The ICD-10-CM Official Coding and Reporting Guidelines have just been updated to include COVID reporting. Additional information beyond the previously released interim guidelines are included. These are the rules that should be followed for claims submission. The notice states that this is for April 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020.

More Telehealth Changes Announced by CMS Chiropractic Offices Should Know About

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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). The announcement included far more information than is presented in this article which only summarizes the changes to telehealth. In fact, it does change a little of the information included in our March 31st webinar.

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

CMS-Coverage for Therapeutic Shoes for Individuals with Diabetes

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Therapeutic shoes and inserts can play a vital role in a diabetic patient's health. Medicare may cover one pair every year and three pairs of custom inserts each calendar year if the patient qualifies and everything is handled correctly.  Medicare Benefit Policy Manual explains what is needed for a person with diabetes to ...

Spotlight: UCR Fees are Available on DRGs- Check it Out!

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Check out the information page on any DRG! Look up DRGs by going to the list of DRG codes found under the Codes tab at the top of the page, or simply type in the desired DRG by using the search bar on the homepage. When using the search bar, be sure you have the ...

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.

Interprofessional Consult Services

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The recent coronavirus crisis has brought non-face-to-face services to the forefront of coding and billing conversations. With the entire healthcare industry focused on caring for patients during an unprecedented and fast-moving pandemic, the goal of increasing patient access while reducing the risk of spreading infection has become paramount. In this climate, ...

2020 Medicare Part D Coverage Gap (AKA donut hole)

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

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

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

New Biofeedback Codes to replace 90911 Eff 2020-01-01

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CMS announced 90912 and 90913 are to be used starting January 2020 in place of 90911. According to CMS MLN, these new codes, designated as “sometimes therapy”, are reported to furnish these services outside a therapy plan of care when appropriate. Codes are permitted to be used by physicians and Non-Physician Practitioners (NPPs), ...

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 ...

COVID-19: Cybercrime, Telehealth, and Coding

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Your inbox is probably like mine with all sorts of announcements about COVID-19. Here are just a few reminders of things we felt should be passed along. We have heard of several cases of cybercrime related to this outbreak. For example, there was a coronavirus map which loads malware onto your ...

"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.

Who Qualifies for Chronic Care Management Services

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Per MLN Chronic Care Management Services, the following patients are eligible: "Patients with multiple (two or more) chronic conditions expected to last at least 12 months or until the death of the patient, and that place the patient at significant risk of death, acute exacerbation/decompensation, or functional decline, are eligible for CCM services." Examples of chronic conditions ...

The difference between Jones and Proximal Diaphyseal Fractures of the Fifth Metatarsal (2018-10-23)

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Distinguishing the difference between Jones and Proximal Diaphyseal Fractures of the Fifth Metatarsal can be complicated, here are some examples from PubMed;  A Jones fracture currently is defined as an acute fracture of the fifth metatarsal at the junction between the proximal diaphysis and metaphysis of the fifth metatarsal without distal extension beyond the fourth to fifth intermetatarsal articulation. Tuberosity avulsion fracture (also known as pseudo-Jones fracture or dancer's fracture) A proximal diaphyseal fifth ...

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

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

Acupuncture Clarification

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In the ChiroCode Newsletter released yesterday regarding Medicare coverage of acupuncture, one sentence in particular has let to some confusion. Read more about it here.

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.

Medicare Begins Covering Acupuncture Services

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

Q/A: Did Noridian Stop Covering the M99.0- Codes?

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Question: I heard that Medicare Noridian Jurisdiction F (Alaska) has been denying claims with M99.00, M99.01, M99.02, M99.03 etc codes when billed with the CMT CPT codes. Did Medicare change their policy?

Documentation Skills that Increase Your Coding

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Evidence-based medicine such as the updated periodontal staging and caries lesions also gives well-defined information about the clinical condition itself. You cannot just look at the codes, you need to check the policy. When I am coding or teaching coding, you need to use clinical indications when working with documentation ...

A 2020 Radiology Coding Change You Need To Know

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

Documenting telephone calls at your dental practice is just as important as documenting patient visits.

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Documenting telephone calls at your dental practice is just as important as documenting patient visits. Similar to other documentation, the common rule when it comes to call documentation is that if it is not documented, it did not happen. Therefore, every clinically relevant telephone call should be documented. Clinically relevant calls ...

Medicare Announces Coverage of Acupuncture Services

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

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.

Q/A: How do we Bill Massage Services?

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Question: We are adding a massage therapist soon and have some questions about billing their services.

Billing for Telemedicine in Chiropractic

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Many large private payers recognize the potential cost savings and improved health outcomes that telemedicine can help achieve, therefore they are often willing to cover it. While there are several considerations, there could be certain circumstances where telemedicine might apply to chiropractic care.

Q/A: Can Chiropractors Bill 99211?

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Can chiropractic offices bill code 99211? Technically it can be used by chiropractors, but in most instances, it is discouraged. Considering that 99211 is a low complexity examination for an established patient, this code is not really made for the physician to use. In fact, in 2021, changes are coming for this code...

Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatment

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AAP treatment guidelines stress that periodontal health should be achieved in the least invasive and most cost-effective manner. This is often accomplished through non-surgical periodontal treatment.Non-surgical periodontal treatment does have its limitations. When it does not achieve periodontal health, surgery may be indicated to restore periodontal health.SCALING AND ROOT PLANINGScaling ...

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 ...

CPT 2020 Changes to Psychiatry Services

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As of January 1, 2020, CPT made changes to the health and behavior assessment and intervention codes (96150-96155) and therapeutic interventions that focus on cognitive function (97127). If you code and audit services in this category, you must pay close attention to the changes as they include the removal and ...

Medicare Changes Bilateral Reporting Rules for Certain Supplies

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DME suppliers must bill bilateral supplies with modifiers RT and LT on separate claim lines or they are being rejected.

What to look for when auditing moderate sedation codes 99151-99153

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What to look for when auditing moderate sedation codes 99151-99153 Physicians performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures can now separately bill for the provision of moderate sedation services, but there are some interesting wrinkles to be looking for when auditing these services. Starting in 2017, moderate sedation codes 99151-99157 were created to address ...

CMS- Patient Driven Payment Model Effective October 01, 2019

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According to CMS, In July 2018, CMS finalized a new case-mix classification model, the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), that, effective beginning October 1, 2019, will be used under the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Prospective Payment System (PPS) for classifying SNF patients in a covered Part A stay. Using the new Patient-Driven ...

What did I do today?

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What did I do today?   Whether you are auditing inpatient or outpatient documentation, chances are you have come across a situation where the encounters repeat the same story, sometimes day to day, sometimes on every 3-month visit. When EHRs were implemented en masse, a key selling point of almost all of ...

Regence: Dental Procedures Under The BlueCard Program?

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This information can be found on Regence/Blue Cross Dental procedures explaining additional benefits for dental procedures. Regence currently does not offer dental benefits, however, there are times a patient can receive treatment with a Blue Cross provider and qualify under their medical benefits. In addition, Regence informs the providers to file these claims ...

Preview the PDGM Calculator (HIPPS calculator) for Home Health Today

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Find-A-Code's Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) home health payment calculator (HIPPS Calculator) simplifies payment calculations. See https://www.findacode.com/tools/home-health/ .

Q/A: Can I Order a TENS unit for a Medicare Patient?

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Question Can a chiropractor order a TENS unit for a Medicare patient? We cannot order X-rays for a Medicare patient so I assume we cannot order a TENS unit either. Answer It’s not that you can’t order the TENS unit, it’s just that when it comes to doctors of chiropractic, Medicare only covers ...

Answering the Question: Does my Insurance Cover Chiropractic Care?

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The question "Does my insurance cover chiropractic care" is the ongoing question chiropractic offices have struggled with for years. Unfortunately, when it comes to insurance, coverage often varies between payers — even varying between plans for a single payer so there isn't one easy answer.

New Medicare Home Health Care Payment Grouper — Are You Ready?

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In 2020, Medicare will begin using a new Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) for calculating Medicare payment for home health care services. This is probably the biggest change to affect home health care since 2000.

VA: How UCR Charges are Determined

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How does the VA determine charges billed to third party payers for Veterans with private health insurance? According to the VA. "38 C.F.R 17.101 stipulates the basic methodology by which VA bills third party insurance carriers. In order to generate a charge for medical services, VA establishes reasonable charges for five ...

Q/A: How do I Code a Procedure for the Primary Insurance so the Secondary Can Get Billed?

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Question: How do you modify a code submitted to the primary insurance company to let them know it is not covered by them so you can bill to a secondary?

Changes to Portable X-Ray Requirements

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On September 30, 2019, CMS published a final rule which made changes to portable x-ray services requirements as found in the law.

And Then There Were Fees...

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Find-A-Code offers fees and pricing for just about everything, this article will address two of some of the most common payment systems with CMS. (OPPS) -Outpatient Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System. (MPFS)- Medicare Physician Fee Schedule The Fees section on each code page is determined on the type of services...

VA- Reasonable Charges Rules, Notices, & Federal Register

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Why is HIPAA So Important?

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Why is HIPAA So Important? Some may think that what they do to protect patient information may be a bit extreme. Others in specialty medical fields and research understand its importance a little more. Most of that importance lies in the information being protected. Every patient has a unique set of ...

Eliminating Consultation Codes?

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There are a few payers that have joined with CMS in discontinuing payment for consultation codes. Most recently, Cigna stated that, as of October 19, 2019, they will implement a new policy to deny the following consultation codes: 99241, 99242, 99243, 99244, 99245, 99251, 99252, 99253, 99254 and 99255. United Healthcare announced they ...

2020 Official ICD-10-CM Coding Guideline Changes Are Here!

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It’s that time of year for offices to get ready for the ICD-10-CM code revisions. As part of that process, it’s also good to know what is going on with the ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting. In the examples listed below, strikeout text is deleted and highlighted text ...

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 ...

Do ICD-10 Updates Have Your Heart Beating Irregularly? Check Out the New Atrial Fibrillation Codes

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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common type of abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). It is caused by a disorder in the heart’s electrical system. AF is the result of abnormal contractions of the atria (upper two chambers of the heart) causing them to quiver and beat out of sync with ...

The New ICD-10-CM Code Updates Are Here — Are You Ready?

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Chapter 1: Certain Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (A00-B99) A small revision in the description changed[STEC] to (STEC) for B96.21, B96.22, B96.23. Remember, in the instructional guidelines, ( ) parentheses enclose supplementary words not included in the description (or not) and [ ] brackets enclose synonyms, alternative wording, or explanatory phrases. Chapter 2: ...

New Codes for Dry Needling

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Find out what you need to know about the new codes for dry needling, also known as trigger point acupuncture.

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 ...

Vaccine Administration - When The Right Vaccine Code is Not Enough

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Understanding how to apply immunization administration codes properly will support correct reimbursement for vaccinations. Reporting the right vaccine code alone is not enough to guarantee proper billing. The majority of the time, providers can charge for the vaccine/product as well as the administration of the vaccine; always consult your payer ...

Q/A: How Do I Bill a House Call?

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Question If a provider makes a house call to/for a patient, is there a way that it is represented on the claim form?  A modifier, or something else? Answer Modifiers are not used to identify that a service was performed in the patient's home. However, other modifier rules must be followed (e.g., modifier GP ...

E-Health is a Big Deal in 2020

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The new 2020 CPT codes are on the way! We are going to see 248 new codes, 71 deletions, and 75 revisions. Health monitoring and e-visits are getting attention; 6 new codes play a vital part in patients taking a part in their care from their own home. New patient-initiated ...

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 ...

So How Do I Get Paid for This? APC, OPPS, IPPS, DRG?

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You know how to find a procedure code and you may even know how to do the procedure, but where does the reimbursement come from?  It seems to be a mystery to many of us, so let's clear up some common confusion and review some of the main reimbursement systems.  One of the ...

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. ...

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 ...

Understanding Payment Indicators

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Understanding how payment works with Medicare payment indicators and the impact a modifier has on payment is vital to pricing. Even if you are not billing Medicare, most carriers follow Medicare's policies for participating and non-participating rules.  Here is an article from Regence on their policy statement, describing the rules ...

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. ...

Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS)

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There are three main code sets and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), is the third most common code set used. They are often called Level II codes and are used to report non-physician products supplies and procedures not found in CPT, such as ambulance services, DME, drugs, orthotics, supplies, ...

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.

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 ...

CMS Proposes to Reverse E/M Stance to Align with AMA Revisions

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On July 29, 2019, CMS released their proposed rule for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for 2020. Last year’s final rule “finalized the assignment of a single payment rate for levels 2 through 4 office/outpatient E/M visits beginning in CY 2021.” It also changed some of the documentation requirements (e.g., ...

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 ...

The Slippery Slope For CDI Specialists

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Who knew that when Jack & Jill when up the hill to fetch a pail of water, they would have to ensure that in order to keep the level of water the same on the way back down, they would need to both support the pail.  Many of you in this industry are ...

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.

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?

Anthem is Changing their Timely Filing Requirements for All Plans, Including Medicare Advantage

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Anthem has been very busy sending out notices stating that, beginning October 1, 2019, all timely filing deadlines for claims will be 90 days. We've seen this letter, or something very similar, sent to doctors and other healthcare providers from California to Kentucky. In their notice, Anthem states: "Effective for all commercial ...

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 ...

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.

The Facts of Critical Care

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Critical care services remain to not only be an area of confusion for providers, coders, and auditors, but also a constant target for the carriers for audit. We can sit back and look at critical care and think of all of the ways the code descriptor and/or use could be ...

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.

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 ...

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 ...

The Importance of Medical Necessity

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ICD-10-CM codes represent the first line of defense when it comes to medical necessity. Correctly chosen diagnosis codes support the reason for the visit as well as the level of the E/M services provided. The issue of medical necessity is one of definitions and communication. What is obvious to the ...

When Can You Bill Orthosis Components Separately?

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Othoses often have extra components. When can you bill those components separately? For example, can you bill for a suspension sleeve (L2397) with a knee orthosis (e.g., L1810)?

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 ...

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 ...

Helping Others Understand How to Apply Incident to Guidelines

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Over the past few months, I have worked with different organizations that have been misinterpreting the "incident to" guidelines and, in return, have been billing for services rendered by staff that are not qualified to perform the services per AMA and CPT. What I found within the variances is that ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

How to Properly Report Monitoring Patients Taking Blood-thinning Medications

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Codes 93792 and 93792, which were added effective January 1, 2019, have specific guidelines that need to be followed. This article provides some guidance and tips on properly reporting these services.

Extrapolation Policies Apply to RAD-V Audits

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Risk Adjustment is a program that was implemented to identify and support Medicare beneficiaries with health conditions, illnesses, or injuries that put them at risk of death or organ system/bodily function failure. Through Risk Adjustment (RA), Medicare ensures their beneficiaries are being followed at least annually for any healthcare conditions ...

A United Approach

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A United Approach As auditors, we all have a different perspective when evaluating documentation. It would be unreasonable to think that we all view things the same way. In my opinion, differing perspectives are what makes a great team because you can coalesce on a particular chart, work it through and ...

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 ...

Medicare Approves Reimbursement for Virtual Communication (G2012)

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Medicare has taken a stand to recognize communication technology-based services by approving two newly defined physicians' services that will significantly help providers who deal with phone calls and patient triage. One of these services includes:  Virtual check-in (G2012), which allows the provider to be reimbursed for communicating with the patient via ...

Medicare Now Reimburses for Remote Monitoring Services (G2010)

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Medicare's 2019 Final Rule approved HCPCS code G2010 for reimbursement, which allows providers to be paid for remote evaluation of images or recorded video submitted to the provider (also known as "store and forward") to establish whether or not a visit is required. This allows providers to get paid for ...

How to Code Ophthalmologic Services Accurately

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Have you ever tried to quickly recall the elements required to support a comprehensive ophthalmologic exam versus an intermediate one? Make coding decisions quickly by creating a cheat sheet containing vital information that allows you to quickly select the right code. According to Article A19881 which was published in 2004 and ...

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?

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 ...

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 ...

What to Look for When Auditing Smoking Cessation Services

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What to Look for When Auditing Smoking Cessation Services

An Update on the DHS OIG's Effort to Combat Fraud & Abuse

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An Update on the DHS OIG's Effort to Combat Fraud & Abuse Every year, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) is required by law to release a report detailing the amounts deposited and appropriated to the Medicare Trust Fund, and the source of such ...

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 ...

Prioritize Your Patient's Financial Experience

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For many years, the ChiroCode DeskBook has emphasized the need for providers to firmly establish the patient’s financial responsibility through clear communication. We even created a “Patient Financial Responsibility Acknowledgment Form” to help providers with this process. Lately, the lack of pricing transparency has been in the news and even ...

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.

HIPAA Violation Penalties Revised

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On April 30, 2019 The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that “HHS will apply a different cumulative annual CMP limit for each of the four penalties tiers in the HITECH Act.” Unlike other notices which require a proposed rule with a comment period, this notice will take ...

Q/A: If Orthopedic Tests are Negative, do You List Them in Your Treatment Notes?

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Question: If orthopedic tests are negative, do you need to still list them in your treatment notes? Answer: Yes. Any tests which are performed by a healthcare provider, regardless of the result, should be documented in the patient record. This record is the only way that a reviewer or another provider ...

Medicare Revises Their Appeals Process

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On April 12, 2019, Medicare announced that there will be some changes to their appeals process effective June 13, 2019. According to the MLN Matters release (see References), the following policy revisions in the Medicare Claims Processing Manual (MCPM), Chapter 29 are taking place: The policy on use of electronic signatures Timing ...

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 ...

Biofeedback - Is it Medically Necessary?

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Biofeedback is used for many reasons, and most commonly used for pain management. Each payer should be consulted with to verify coverage when treating with Biofeedback to verify if the treatment is considered experimental or investigational. The majority of payers will list Biofeedback on an exclusions list. Others such as BC ...

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 ...

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 ...

CPT Announces 2021 E/M Changes

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In 2018, Medicare announced their plans for revamping the Evaluation and Management coding structure and was met with a rapid response from the medical community, including the AMA and many other organizations. As a result, the Medicare changes implemented in 2019 were mostly documentation-related changes that generally benefited providers but were not ...

What is Medical Necessity and How Does Documentation Support It?

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We recently fielded the question, “What is medical necessity and how do I know if it's been met?" The AMA defines medical necessity as: It is important to understand that while the AMA provides general guidance on what they consider medically necessary services, these particular coding guidelines are generic and may be ...

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.

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.

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 ...

Q/A: What do I do When a Medicare Patient Refuses to Sign an ABN?

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Question: What do I do when a Medicare patient refuses to sign an ABN? Answer: That depends on whether the patient is still demanding to have/receive the service/supply. If they aren’t demanding the service, then there is no need to force the issue. Just make sure that you still have an ...

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. ...

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 ...

Spinal Cord Stimulator Used for Chronic Pain

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Chronic pain is a condition that can be diagnosed on its own or diagnosed as a part of another condition. When coding chronic pain, there is no time frame defining when pain becomes chronic pain; the provider’s documentation should be used to guide the use of these codes. ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Codes ...

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 ...

Electrodiagnostic Medicine Listing of Sensory, Motor and Mixed Nerves (Appendix J as per AMA)

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Electrodiagnostic Medicine Listing of Sensory, Motor, and Mixed Nerves. This summary assigns each sensory, motor, and mixed nerve with its appropriate nerve conduction study code in order to enhance accurate reporting of codes 95907-95913.  Each nerve constitutes one unit of service. Motor Nerves Assigned to Codes 95907-95913   Upper extremity, cervical plexus,andbrachial plexus motor nervesAxillary ...

Pain Codes in ICD-10-CM

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When coding with ICD-10-CM, pain codes can be found in different sections: The Body System affected or site-specific pain codes, such as Low Back Pain M54.5, can be found in Chapter 13. Diseases of the Musculoskeletal system (M00-M99). Other examples might be ocular pain H57.1, found in Chapter 7. Diseases of ...

CPT Codes Exempt from Modifier 51 (Appendix E)

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The following CPT codes are exempt from the use of modifier 51.  These procedures are usually performed with another procedure, however, they may also be a stand-alone procedure.   17004 93456 93618 20697 93503 93631 20974 93600 94610 20975 93602 95905 31500 93603 95992 36620 93610 99151 44500 93612 99152 61007 93615 93451 93616 ...

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 ...

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 ...

The Impact of Medical Necessity on High Level E/M Services

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I was recently asked the question, "Does 99233 require documentation of a past medical, family, and/or social history (PFSH)?"  The quick answer is, "it depends." Code 99233 has the following minimal component requirement: Subsequent inpatient E/M encounters can meet the code level requirement either by component scoring & medical necessity or time & medical necessity. ...

Type of Bill Code Structure (2018-08-30)

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The UB-04 claim form (also known as CMS 1450) is the standard facility and residential claim form used to report health claims. The Type of Bill is reported in Block No. 4 of the UB04 claim form. Type of bill codes are four-digit codes that describe the type of bill a ...

How to Report Imaging (X-Rays) of the Thumb

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If you've ever taken piano lessons, you know that the thumb is considered the first finger of the hand. Anatomically, it is also referred to as the first phalanx (finger). However, when you are coding an x-ray of the thumb, images are captured of the thumb, hand, wrist, and all ...

Revised ABN Requirements Still Fuzzy

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Although it has been quite some time since ChiroCode published an article about the revised instructions for non-participating providers  who use the ABN, there are still some outstanding questions about this change. So far, Medicare has not provided additional guidance about this question despite requests by us for clarification. Medicare now requires non-participating providers to include the ...

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.

Q/A: Can you Help me Understand the New Medicare Insurance Cards?

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As many of you are aware, CMS began issuing new Medicare identification cards last year which required the replacement of social security numbers with a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). All cards have now been mailed out and patient's should have the new cards when they come in. Currently, we are in the transition period until January 2020.

UnitedHealthcare to Discontinue Coverage of Consultations

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In United Healthcare's March provider bulletin, they announced that beginning on June 1, 2019, they will be phasing out coverage of consultation services (99241-99255).

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 ...

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 ...

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?

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 ...

Coding Medicare Initial Preventive Physical Exams (IPPE)

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The Medicare Initial Preventive Physical Exam (IPPE), also commonly referred to as the “Welcome to Medicare Physical”, may seem daunting to many, but when broken out to identify the requirements is fairly straightforward. Purpose An IPPE helps the Medicare beneficiary (the patient) get to know their healthcare provider at a time when they ...

HHS Proposes Significant Changes to Patient Access Rules

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In a significant announcement on February 11, 2019, HHS proposed new rules aimed at improving interoperability of electronic health information. This announcement was made in support of the MyHealthEData initiative which was announced by the Trump administration on March 6, 2018. The goal of that initiative was to break down ...

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 ...

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 ...

Clinical Staff vs. Healthcare Professional

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State scope of practice laws and regulations will help determine who is considered Clinical staff and Other qualified Health Care professionals.  Physician or other qualified healthcare professionals:  Must have a State license, education training showing qualifications as well as facility privileges.  Examples of Qualified Healthcare professionals: (NOTE: this list is not all-inclusive, please refer to your payer ...

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 ...

Attestations Teaching Physicians vs Split Shared Visits

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Physicians often use the term "attestation" to refer to any kind of statement they insert into a progress note for an encounter involving work by a resident, non-physician practitioner (NPP), or scribe. However, for compliance and documentation purposes, "attestation" has a specific meaning and there are distinct requirements for what ...

Empowering Medicare Beneficiaries

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BLOG: CMS announced a NEWS release today making it easier to help Medicare Beneficiaries access cost and quality information. CMS announced,  "Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new app that gives consumers a modernized Medicare experience with direct access on a mobile device to some of ...

Medical Necessity vs. Documentation for Inpatient Services

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Auditing the documentation of inpatient and observation E/M services can often be challenging. Many of the notes we are provided for review include so much information that the note feels like a short novel instead of documentation for one date of service. This over-documentation can make it difficult to see ...

Everything You need to Know about Drugs

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We have it all! Search our WK Drug Database for drugs and pharmaceuticals. When it comes to support and guidance the WK Drug Database offers a paramount search and is conveniently presented in one place.  Pricing  GPIs  NDCs  Billing Codes  Indications/Diseases Packaging Information Active and Inactive and more... Additionally, learn more about drugs and pharmaceuticals that can be used to detect, treat, or monitor ...

How to Report Co-Surgeons Using Modifier 62

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Modifier 62 is appended to surgical claims to report the need for the skills of two surgeons (co-surgeons) to perform a procedure, with each surgeon performing a distinct part of the same procedure, during the same surgical session. An easy way to explain this is to visualize a patient requiring cervical fusion where ...

Home Oxygen Therapy

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Home Oxygen Therapy Guidelines

Truncated ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting

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Adherence to ICD-10-CM official guideline's are required under HIPAA and adopted for all healthcare settings. We have made it easy to access guidelines and made them available on the code information page, either on the page you are viewing or view more information by selecting the ICD-10-CM Chapter Section/Guidelines and ...

Take the Stress out of Leveling Using our E/M Calculator

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Our E/M Calculator takes the stress out of leveling Evaluation and Management codes. This tool can be used by auditors, as well as coders and students learning E/M coding. Calculate based on Time or Components. The exam portion lets you chose either 95, 97 Guidelines or both.  Included with our Professional and Facility Subscription!  ...

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 ...

Are You Protecting Your Dental Practice From Fraud?

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With the expansion of dental coverage through Medicaid and Medicare Advantage plans, an ever-increasing number of dental claims have come under scrutiny for fraud. One such payer, Aetna, is actively pursuing dental fraud by employing their special investigative units (SIUs) to identify and investigate providers who demonstrate unusual coding and ...

Nine New Codes for Fine Needle Aspirations (FNA) in 2019

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If your practice performs a lot of fine needle aspirations (FNA), you probably have the code options memorized (10021 without image guidance and 10022 with image guidance). However, the 2019 CPT codes now include nine (9) new FNA codes (10004-10012), one deleted FNA code (10022) and one revised FNA code ...

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 ...

CMS Finalizes Major Changes to ACO Program

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Back in August of 2018, as part of the Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program), CMS proposed some sweeping changes for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). There has been some controversy over these changes which require ACOs to move to two-sided models. In this Final Rule which was scheduled to be published in the Federal Register ...

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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