"Practice Management" & "Billing" Articles


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How to Search Find-A-Code for Medicare Policies and Guidelines — LCDs, NCDs and Articles —

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Help for Searching Find-A-Code when searching for Medicare Policies and Guidelines — LCDs, NCDs and/or Articles.

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.

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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.

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.

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.

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: ...

Time Is Up! Jan 1 2020 Claims Will be Denied Without MBIs

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New Medicare Card Transition Ends Next Week: Claim Reject Codes Beginning January 1 If you want to get paid you should be reporting MBIs on all of your Medicare claims. The deadline is here: if you are not using Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs) on claims (with a few exceptions) after January 1, ...

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 ...

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?

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 ...

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 ...

How to Properly Report Prolonged Evaluation and Management Services

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Have you ever had a patient take more time with the provider than they were scheduled for? Do you understand which codes to report and the rules that govern them to allow for better reimbursement? Prolonged Service codes were created just for that reason but you must carefully follow the documentation ...

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?

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.

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.

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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.

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 ...

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?

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 ...

Spotlight: QPro Blogs

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Look for important tips and updates for the medical industry on the QPro Blog! The link to the blog is available from the Medical page under the Industries tab. Use the search bar to look up topics and specialties. View the blogs page here. ...

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.

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 ...

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 ...

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.

Q/A: How Many Diagnosis Codes do I use?

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Question: My patient has a lot of chronic conditions. Do I need to include all these on the claim? I know that I can have up to 12 diagnoses codes on a single claim. What if I need more than that? Answer: More is not always better. You only need to ...

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 ...

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. ...

Prolonged Services

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Prolonged Services I find in my own audit reviews that the prolonged service code set is often mistreated: they are avoided and not used even when the scenario supports them, or they get overused and improperly documented. Prolonged services are used in conjunction with all types of Evaluation and Management (E/M) ...

Add on Codes for CPT (Appendix D)

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For 2019, the following is a list of CPT add-on codes: 01953 19294 33225 37223 61864 76814 93325 97598 01968 19297 33257 37232 61868 76937 93352 97811 01969 20930 33258 37233 62148 76979 93462 97814 10004 20931 33259 37234 62160 76983 93463 99100 10006 20932 33367 37235 63035 77001 93464 99116 10008 20933 33368 37237 63043 77002 93563 99135 10010 20934 33369 37239 63044 77003 93564 99140 10012 20936 33419 37247 63048 77063 93565 99153 10036 20937 33508 37249 63057 77293 93566 99157 11001 20938 33517 37252 63066 78020 93567 99292 11008 20939 33518 37253 63076 78496 93568 99354 11045 20985 33519 38102 63078 78730 93571 99355 11046 22103 33521 38746 63082 81266 93572 99356 11047 22116 33522 38747 63086 81416 93592 99357 11103 22208 33523 38900 63088 81426 93609 99359 11105 22216 33530 43273 63091 81536 93613 99415 11107 22226 33572 43283 63103 82952 93621 99416 11201 22328 33768 43338 63295 86826 93622 99467 11732 22512 33866 43635 63308 87187 93623 99486 11922 22515 33884 44015 63621 87503 93655 99489 13102 22527 33924 44121 64462 87904 93657 99494 13122 22534 33929 44128 64480 88155 93662 99498 13133 22552 33987 44139 64484 88177 94645 99602 13153 22585 34709 44203 64491 88185 94729 99607 14302 22614 34711 44213 64492 88311 94781 0054T 15003 22632 34713 44701 64494 88314 95079 0055T 15005 22634 34714 44955 64495 88332 95873 0076T 15101 22840 34715 47001 64634 88334 95874 0095T 15111 22841 34716 47542 64636 88341 95885 0098T 15116 22842 34808 47543 64643 88350 95886 0163T 15121 22843 34812 47544 64645 88364 95887 0164T 15131 22844 34813 47550 64727 88369 95940 0165T 15136 22845 34820 48400 64778 88373 95941 0174T 15151 22846 34833 49326 64783 88388 95962 01953 15152 22847 34834 49327 64787 90461 95967 01968 15156 22848 35306 49412 64832 90472 95984 01969 15157 22853 35390 49435 64837 90474 96113 0205T 15201 22854 35400 49568 64859 90785 96121 0214T 15221 22858 35500 49905 64872 90833 96131 0215T 15241 22859 35572 50606 64874 90836 96133 0217T 15261 22868 35600 50705 64876 90838 96137 0218T 15272 22870 35681 50706 64901 90840 96139 0222T 15274 26125 35682 51797 64902 90863 96160 0229T 15276 26861 35683 52442 64913 91013 96161 0231T 15278 26863 35685 56606 65757 92547 96361 0290T 15777 27358 35686 57267 66990 92608 96366 0376T 15787 27692 35697 58110 67225 92618 96367 0396T 15847 29826 35700 58611 67320 92621 96368 0397T 16036 31627 36218 59525 67331 92627 96370 0399T 17003 31632 36227 60512 67332 92921 96371 0437T 17312 31633 36228 61316 67334 92925 96375 0439T 17314 31637 36248 61517 67335 92929 96376 0443T 17315 31649 36474 61611 67340 92934 96411 0450T 19001 31651 36476 61641 69990 92938 96415 0466T 19082 31654 36479 61642 74301 92944 96417 0471T 19084 32501 36483 61651 74713 92973 96423 0480T 19086 32506 36907 61781 75565 92974 96570 0482T 19126 32507 36908 61782 75774 92978 96571 0492T 19282 32667 36909 61783 76125 92979 96934 0496T 19284 32668 37185 61797 76802 92998 96935 0513T 19286 32674 37186 61799 76810 93320 96936 0514T 19288 33141 37222 61800 76812 93321 97546 0523T ...

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. ...

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?

Consent for CT Scan - Women

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The ADA has forms in over 26 lanuages available to purchase. You also need specific forms for all of the procedures. Even working with patients who are pregnant needs to have a consent with a specialty and collaboration with medical providers. I am showing you one of the forms...

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 ...

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 ...

QPro - Medical Certifications

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QPro (Qualified Professionals) is a member support system dedicated to enhancing coding and management through certification for healthcare coders and managers. Through increased knowledge of coding principles, changes in coding policies, and the experiences of fellow coders and managers in resolving office challenges, QPro members confidently code for maximum and ...

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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