CMS administers the Medicare program and it is currently the single largest payer for healthcare in the United States. Medicare Part A, B, C, and D, all encompass a wide variety of services, all of which providers need to understand to determine which services are covered for patients.
Medicare Advantage plans rely on the Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCC) system for reimbursement. HCC payments are linked to the individual health risk profiles for the members in the plan. MA Plans use ICD-9-CM codes as the primary indicators of each member’s health status. Therefore, it is essential for MA plans to make sure that providers capture the complete diagnostic profile of patients through accurate and complete physician coding. Holly J. Cassano, CPC, explains why coders need to have a complete understanding of the HCC process and risk adjustment, as well as the effects on the provider, the member, the MA plan, and overall reimbursement.