AHA Coding Clinic® for HCPCS - 2005 Issue 4; FOR your INFORMATION

Payment for pharmacy handling costs in hospital outpatient departments

In the calendar year (CY) 2006 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) proposed rule, CMS discussed the APC payment rates for separately payable drugs and their relationship to pharmacy overhead and drug handling costs. CMS proposed to implement the use of three distinct HCPCS C-codes, along with corresponding APCs, for drug handling categories. Normally, hospitals do not charge for their pharmacy overhead costs, nor their device handling costs, separately. Instead, broad overhead and handling costs are typically built into the charges for the drugs or devices themselves. CMS felt that use of the HCPCS C-codes would allow hospitals to differentiate...

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