"Skilled Nursing" & "Auditing" Articles


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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?

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Understanding UCR Inpatient Fees used on DRGs

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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 ...

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 ...

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.

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 ...

"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: ...

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 ...

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...

Denials due to MUE Usage - This May be Why!

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

CMS- 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 ...

Medically Unlikely Edits (MUEs): Unlikely, But Not Always Impossible

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Medically Unlikely Edits (MUEs) were created by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to help lower the error rate for paid Part B claims. MUEs are the maximum units of a HCPCS or CPT code that a provider would bill under most circumstances for the same patient on ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

Tips to Preventing Audits

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There is an ever-increasing number of dental claims that 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 billing practices. When payers identify the activities they deem ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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.

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 ...

What to Look for When Auditing Smoking Cessation Services

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What to Look for When Auditing Smoking Cessation Services

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...


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