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June 1st, 2021
Managed Care Organizations Use CMS Tools to Identify Outliers
Published June 1st, 2021 - Last Review/Update June 2nd, 2021|
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.
May 18th, 2021
OIG Plans for Onslaught of Risk Adjustment Audits Claiming 9.5% Error Rate in Code Assignment
Published May 18th, 2021|
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.
May 6th, 2021
Identifying Risk-Adjusted Services During the Opioid Crisis
Published May 6th, 2021|
Between June 2019 and June 2020, the United States saw a total of 107,750 deaths from COVID-19. The spread of this virus was so extraordinary that it led President Trump to declare a public health emergency, and we watched as individual states began implementing laws and regulations to limit social interaction ...
April 19th, 2021
Q/A: For E/M, How do I Count Tests Ordered in One Department and Performed in Another?
Published April 19th, 2021|
Question: I am in an ENT office as part of a large clinic with separate practices including audiology, CT, and allergy, all billing under the same TAX ID. Sometimes tests are ordered which are done in other departments that my office does not bill for, would those be considered an outside source? Answer: This is a great question and one that has been asked by many coders and auditors.
April 12th, 2021
How to Combat COVID-Related Risk Adjustment Losses with the Medicare Annual Wellness Exam
Published April 12th, 2021|
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 ...
March 18th, 2021
How Reporting E/M Based on Time May Lose Money
Published March 18th, 2021|
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 ...
March 10th, 2021
How Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Data Enhances Risk Adjustment
Published March 10th, 2021|
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.
January 21st, 2021
Looking Beyond an Employee's Coding Credentials
Published January 21st, 2021|
In today's ever-changing healthcare environment, it is important that organizations hire coding and reimbursement personnel who enjoy learning. Each year changes are made in how healthcare services are coded and reported from federal and state laws, the code sets themselves, and varying payer policies. During the public health emergency (PHE) ...
January 7th, 2021
CMS Reduces the Exchange User Fee to Support Lower Premiums for the Consumer
Published January 7th, 2021|
It has been no secret that Americans have been complaining about the high cost of health plans since implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Premiums and deductibles have skyrocketed and in many states are equal to or exceed the cost of their rent or mortgage payments. As such, most ...
November 24th, 2020
How Might the New 2021 E/M Guideline Changes Impact Risk Adjustment?
Published November 24th, 2020|
While provider organizations are busy learning the new E/M guideline changes being implemented January 1, 2021, Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) are contemplating how the documentation changes for these services may impact risk adjustment coding. To be clear, the new E/M guidelines only pertain to Office and Other Outpatient E/M Services ...
November 5th, 2020
Are You Aware of the 2021 Star Rating System Updates?
Published November 5th, 2020|
Each year the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) publishes the Star Ratings System Updates for Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medicare Prescription (Part D). This rating system was developed to help beneficiaries identify and select the health plans that best meet their needs, specifically addressing main issues: Quality of ...
October 26th, 2020
Delving Into the 360 Assessment Fraud Complaint
Published October 26th, 2020|
The Department of Justice is pursuing claims of healthcare fraud against Cigna Health-Spring Medicare Advantage plan based on how they used data from their 360 Program in 2012. A review of the allegations may help other payers avoid similar accusations.
October 12th, 2020
What is the Difference Between the Medicare 1995 and 1997 Documentation Guidelines for E/M Services?
Published October 12th, 2020|
When Medicare determined that providers could follow EITHER the 1995 OR the 1997 Documentation Guidelines for Evaluation and Management Services to determine which level of E/M service to report, because CMS had not clarified that portions of the 1995 and 1997 guidelines could be used together to determine the level of ...
August 24th, 2020
2021 Brings Another Risk Adjustment Calculation Change
Published August 24th, 2020|
In 2021, a big change in Risk Adjustment score calculations will take place, which will affect payments to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans for the coming year and take us closer to quality and value-based programs instead of fee-for-service (FFS) or risk-adjusted (RA). Currently, CMS pays a per-enrollee capitated...
May 13th, 2020
Are Diagnoses from Telehealth Services Eligible for Risk Adjustment?
Published May 13th, 2020|
On April 10th, CMS released a memo with the subject line, “Applicability of diagnoses from telehealth services for risk adjustment,” suggesting there may be some telehealth services that might not qualify for risk adjustment. However, in the memo CMS states: “Diagnoses resulting from telehealth services can meet the risk adjustment face-to-face ...
May 4th, 2020
Additional Telehealth Changes Announced by CMS
Published May 4th, 2020|
On April 30, 2020, CMS announced additional sweeping changes to meet the challenges of providing adequate healthcare during this pandemic. These changes expand the March 31st changes. The article covers some of the key changes. See the official announcement in the references below.
April 20th, 2020
Dismal OIG Report on Telemedicine
Published April 20th, 2020|
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.
April 15th, 2020
New CPT® Codes Approved for COVID-19 Antibody Identification
Published April 15th, 2020|
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.
April 15th, 2020
CMS Temporarily Suspends Contract-Level RADV Audits
Published April 15th, 2020|
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.
April 13th, 2020
CMS Announces Final 2021 HCC Risk Adjustment Changes
Published April 13th, 2020|
On April 6, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published their final Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D payment methodologies for CY 2021. Read more to be prepared for these upcoming changes.
March 24th, 2020
"What is the ICD-10 code for...?" - Search Smarter With Find-A-Code Tools
Published March 24th, 2020|
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: ...
March 21st, 2020
Understand the New Codes for Testing & Reporting the COVID-19 Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)
Published March 21st, 2020|
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 ...
February 10th, 2020
A 2020 Radiology Coding Change You Need To Know
Published February 10th, 2020|
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...
January 30th, 2020
Medicare Announces Coverage of Acupuncture Services
Published January 30th, 2020|
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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