"Documentation" & "HCPCS Coding" Articles


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​​Polysomnography Services Under OIG Scrutiny

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The OIG conducted a study dated June 2019 wherein they indicated that there were approximately $269 million in overpayments for polysomnography services for the period of 2014 through 2015. According to the OIG “These errors occurred because the CMS oversight of polysomnography services was insufficient to ensure that providers complied with Medicare requirements and to prevent payment of claims that didn’t meet those requirements.” So what are those requirements?

New Codes for COVID Booster Vaccine & Monoclonal Antibody Products

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

Medicare's ABN Booklet Revised

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

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

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

Managed Care Organizations Use CMS Tools to Identify Outliers

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

Chronic Care Management Services

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

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

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

Comparison of Add-On Code Guidelines

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

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

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

58% of Improper Payments due to Medical Necessity for Ventilators

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

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

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

How Reporting E/M Based on Time May Lose Money

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

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

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

COVID-19 Vaccines

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

Why CMS Created G2212 for Prolonged Services Instead of 99417

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

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

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How To Properly Report Prolonged Services Using 99417 or G2212

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

Good and Bad News Regarding the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

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

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

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

CMS Final Rule Changes E/M Reporting Guidelines

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

CMS Final Rule Changes E/M Reporting Guidelines

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

Final Rule on Communications Technology and 2021 Physicians Fee Schedule

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

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.

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 ...

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 ...

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.

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 Practice Reopening Tips

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

Packaging and Units for Billing Drugs

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

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 - ...

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 ...

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.

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

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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

Providing Telehealth Services During COVID-19 Crisis

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

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

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

Understand the New Codes for Testing & Reporting the COVID-19 Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)

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The current coronavirus pandemic refers to COVID-19, a novel or new type of coronavirus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first victim of the virus was identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China at the end of 2019. There is no immunization available to prevent it from spreading and ...

Implementing Telehealth Visits

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

Additional Coronavirus Testing Code Announced

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

New HCPCS Code for Coronavirus Testing Announced

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

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 ...


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