"Documentation" & "HCPCS Coding" Articles


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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 ...

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.

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: ...

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 ...

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, ...

Q/A: I Billed 2 Units of L3020 and Claim was Denied. Why?

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Question: We billed 2 units of L3020 but were denied for not using the right modifiers. What should we do? Answer: Rather than submitting two units of the L3020 to indicate that the patient one orthotic for each foot, you would need to use modifiers identifying left foot and right foot. Appropriate coding ...

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 ...

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 ...

Denial Management is Key to Profitability

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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)?

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 ...

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. ...

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.

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?

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.

Facts on Procedure Codes

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There are two levels of codes used for services and procedures:  Level I Codes are used for Services and Procedures provided by physicians. 5 digit numerical code, example, 99213 - Office or other outpatient visits  Level II Codes are used to bill Medical equipment supplies and transport services. 4 digit Alpha/Numerical code example, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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.

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 ...

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. ...

Spotlight: Services Excluded from Global Surgery Payment

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The following services are excluded from global surgery payment according to Noridian Medicare. These services may be paid for separately. The initial consultation or evaluation of the problem by the surgeon to determine the need for surgery. Please note that this policy only applies to major surgical procedures. The initial...

Billing Guidelines for Repositioning

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Code 95992 has some very limited payer payment guidelines which need to be understood for proper reimbursement. Many payer policies consider this service bundled with Evaluation and Management Services, therefore, it would not be separately payable if there was an E/M service performed on the same date. Some providers have reported having trouble ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Q/A: Which Code Should I Use for a Lab Interpretation Fee?

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Question Which code should I use for a lab interpretation fee? Specifically, I have ordered a female hormone saliva test, and would like to charge a fee for time spent on the interpretation and consult. Answer This type of service generally does not involve a third party, so it may be acceptable to ...

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

What is Virtual Communication (G0071)?

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Beginning January 1st, 2019 all of our RHC and FQHC organizations have a new CPT code to  consider implementing for their Medicare populous (check per Advantage Plan Administration for coverage). In its current form, this code is not reportable by organizations not meeting the RHC/FQHC designation. The code  isG0071 and is termed ...

Q/A: Is G8730 Still Required? Are G Codes Required at all?

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G8730, when is it required. Many G codes are still active and are required for non-quality reporting.

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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