The improper payment rate for oxygen equipment and supplies to the Medicare program was 62.1% with projected improper payments of approximately $952 million during the 2014 reporting period, according to a Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) program study detailed in the January 2016 issue of the Medicare Quarterly Compliance Newsletter.
If two ICD-10-CM diagnoses are not related to each other, but exist at the same time, they may be reported together despite an Excludes1 note, according to a recent release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The coding advice has been approved by the four Cooperating Parties—the American Health Information Management Association, the American Hospital Association, CMS, and the National Center for Health Statistics.
While providers are still awaiting further guidance on the four modifiers CMS introduced as subsets of modifier -59 (distinct procedural service), the latest NCCI Manual does include clarification for certain scenarios involving the modifier.
A recent court ruling determined that CMS had to explain its calculation for a negative 0.2% reduction in inpatient payment rates as a result of implementing the 2-midnight rule. The court also said that providers should have an opportunity to comment on the calculation.
CMS and Medicare Administrative Contractors are aware of certain issues regarding National Coverage Determinations and Local Coverage Determinations related to ICD-10 and working to resolve them as soon as possible, according to CMS.
CMS does not require ordering providers to rewrite orders prior to ICD-10 implementation with appropriate diagnosis codes for laboratory, radiology, and other services, including durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies, according to a new FAQ.
CMS finalized its proposals regarding the 2-midnight rule in the 2016 OPPS final rule, including moving responsibility for enforcement and education of the rule from Recovery Auditors to Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO). This latter change occurred October 1, 2015.
Insufficient documentation is the leading cause of improper payments for claims involving referring providers, according to a Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) program study detailed in the October 2015 Medicare Quarterly Compliance Newsletter .
CMS released a new resource to help providers find the right contacts for ICD-10 questions involving Medicare and Medicaid claims. The resource guide and contact list provides phone numbers or email addresses for Medicare Administrative Contractors and state Medicaid offices for each state and U.S. territory.
Recovery Auditors have identified numerous potential duplicate claims from Medicare Part B providers, according to the October 2015 Medicare Quarterly Compliance Newsletter . These claims are send to MACs for further action, which could include overpayment recovery.
In the first three years after implementation, incentives and penalties tied to the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (HVBP) Program had a minimal effect on Medicare, while doing little to improve quality trends, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.
The 2016 IPPS final rule includes many new claims-based measures for 2018 and 2019 payment determination. Shannon Newell, RHIA, CCS, provides an overview of those measures and additional changes to theHospital Value-Based Purchasing and Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduction programs.
Sometimes people do their homework with setting up a new system, and sometimes they don't. Sometimes they do their homework, but not enough of it, and billions of dollars of wasteful spending occurs that could be avoided. But "they" won't listen.
Most improper payments for diagnostic nasal endoscopies reviewed during a Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) special study occurred due to insufficient documentation, according to the latest Medicare Quarterly Compliance Newsletter .
Providers need to report all services from October 1 forward with ICD-10 codes, but many will likely face scenarios with patients whose dates of service begin prior to October 1 and end after implementation. CMS has released special guidance to clarify how those instances would be billed with each bill type in MLN Matters ® SE1325 .
A Recovery Auditor review of claims from September 25, 2012, to August 30, 2013, found providers billing hydration therapy with diagnosis codes not considered reasonable and medically necessary, according to the July 2015 Medicare Quarterly Compliance Newsletter .
The 2016 IPPS final rule continues CMS’ plan to shift Medicare payments from volume to quality. Shannon Newell, RHIA, CCS, and James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CDIP, analyze the rule and the impact it could have on providers.
OPPS costs rose approximately $1 billion more than expected in 2014 due to a CMS overestimation of the impact of laboratory packaging changes, according to the 2016 OPPS proposed rule. As a result, CMS proposes a 2% reduction to the 2016 conversion factor. CMS also proposes to expand laboratory packaging from date of service to the claim level.
The 2016 OPPS proposed rule released July 2 is deceptively short, but packs a punch. CMS is proposing the most massive APC reconfiguration and consolidation of APC groups since the beginning of OPPS, says Jugna Shah, MPH, president and founder of Nimitt Consulting, based in Washington, D.C., and Spicer, Minnesota.
The 2016 OPPS proposed rule introduces APC restructuring, new comprehensive APCs, and many other potential changes for next year. Jugna Shah, MPH, and Debbie Mackaman, RHIA, CPCO, CCDS, review the proposals and what they could mean for providers.
CMS is proposing a new status indicator to be assigned to laboratory tests so when the tests are the only service on a claim, CMS will pay for them separately under the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule without providers having to do anything additional from a reporting perspective.
Although CMS did not propose any changes to the 2-midnight rule in the fiscal year 2016 IPPS proposed rule, it signaled its intention to address short stays in the calendar year (CY) 2016 OPPS proposed rule. CMS followed through by introducing several proposed changes to the 2-midnight rule.
A recent salary survey conducted by our sister publication Medical Records Briefing found the same trends prevail year after year: the 145 HIM professionals who responded feel they are overworked and underpaid.
A Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) study found insufficient documentation to be the cause of 97% of improper payments for certain kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty procedures, according to the Medicare Quarterly Compliance Newsletter.
CMS and the American Medical Association (AMA) may have made peace regarding ICD-10, but it seems some members of Congress didn’t get the memo. Reps. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Tom E. Price, R-Ga...
CMS announced a new incentive program designed to reduce complications from joint replacement surgery. The new proposed Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement will require bundling of reimbursement for hip and knee surgeries, with profits tied closely to costs and quality metrics.
Coders will find 50 new codes in ICD-10-PCS for 2016, according to the summary of changes posted by CMS . CMS also introduced a new section for ICD-10-PCS, X (new technology). In addition, guidelines B3.11b, B3.4a, B3.2b, and B4.1b were revised in response to public comment.
A Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) study found that the improper payment rate for radiation therapy planning claims was significantly higher than many other physician specialty services, according to the Medicare Quarterly Compliance Newsletter .
The American Medical Association (AMA) is trying to get a seat at the ICD-10 table by resolving to request inclusion as one of the Cooperating Parties. Mind you, today’s resolution at the AMA annual...
CMS provided plenty of proposed refinements to quality measures in the 2016 IPPS proposed rule, but did not suggest any changes to the 2-midnight rule. Kimberly A.H. Baker, JD, CPC, James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CDIP, and Shannon Newell, RHIA, CCS, highlight the most significant proposed changes.
A Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) contractor special study found improper payments on Medicare Part B claims including HCPCS code 84999 (unlisted chemistry procedure) submitted from October to December 2013, according to the latest Medicare Quarterly Compliance Newsletter .
An automated Recovery Auditor review of discharge status codes identified improper payments, according to the Medicare Quarterly Compliance Newsletter . However, CMS did not report the prevalence of the errors.
CMS released updated I/OCE specifications in January with several changes that could require providers to examine claims submitted early in 2015 that include comprehensive APCs (C-APC) to ensure proper payment.
A Recovery Auditor automated review of claims for cardiovascular nuclear medicine procedures found potential incorrect billing due to lack of medical necessity, according to the latest Medicare Quarterly Compliance Newsletter.
A Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) study of transcatheter aortic valve replacement/implantation (TAVR/TAVI) services found that approximately one third of the claims received improper payments, mostly due to insufficient documentation, according to the latest Medicare Quarterly Compliance Newsletter.
Three university hospitals saw a doubling of Recovery Auditor audit activity from 2010–2011 to 2012–2013, and a nearly three-fold increase in overpayment determinations, according to a new study in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.
The January quarterly I/OCE update includes new modifiers, changes related to expanded packaging, and continued refinement of CMS' skin substitutes categories, but the biggest change for outpatient hospitals is the implementation of comprehensive APCs (C-APC).
Providers report excessive units for initial IV infusions for both chemotherapy and non-chemotherapy drugs, according to the results of an audit reported in the January 2015 Medicare Quarterly Provider Compliance Newsletter .
Curious about how CMS’ end-to-end testing for ICD-10 is going? Want to know how you can sign up? CMS is hosting a National Provider Call on ICD-10 implementation and Medicare testing from 1:30-3 p.m...
In the 2015 OPPS final rule, CMS introduced a new modifier for services provided in an off-campus, provider-based clinic. Jugna Shah, MPH, and Valerie Rinkle, MPA, review when the modifier will become required and how it should be reported.
In December 2014, CMS posted a document on its Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment (HOP Panel) website outlining the hospital outpatient therapeutic services that were recently evaluated for a change in supervision levels. The three-page document contains a chart that includes the HCPCS code, the level of supervision required for coverage, and the effective dates of the changes for various services.
The District of Columbia federal district court dismissed a lawsuit December 18, 2014, filed by the American Hospital Association (AHA) against HHS for excessive and inappropriate Recovery Auditor denials, according to AHA News. The AHA announced that it may appeal the court’s decision.
CMS accepted 76% of all national ICD-10 test claims submitted during its November 2014 ICD-10 acknowledgement testing week. More than 500 providers, suppliers, billing companies, and clearinghouses participated in the tests, which identified no issues with Medicare's system.
In a concerted effort to move healthcare payments to a system of "quality over quantity," CMS finalized policies that greatly expanded packaging for outpatient providers in the 2015 OPPS final rule. It also introduced complexity adjustments with comprehensive APCs (C-APCs).
CMS proposed that a new HCPCS modifier be appended to every code for a service furnished in a hospital's off-campus provider-based department on both the CMS-1500 claim form for physicians' services and the UB-04 form (CMS Form 1450) for hospital outpatient services in the 2015 OPPS proposed rule. Despite many detailed comments opposing this change, no consensus emerged; therefore, CMS is moving forward with implementing a slightly modified policy.
With the ICD-10 implementation date set for October 1, 2015, CMS has continued its efforts to provide education and information to help organizations prepare for the change. Recently, CMS published a recording of its Transitioning to ICD-10 Provider Call and a new Coding for ICD-10-CM video to YouTube.
CMS Transmittal 547 changes the audit timeframe for complex reviews from 60 to 30 days for some MAC and Recovery Auditor reviews. The change could significantly affect the volume and timeliness of complex reviews for providers. The transmittal becomes effective February 24, 2015.
Recovery Auditors have identified improper payments for claims involving end-stage renal disease (ESRD) services when more than one monthly service was billed per month and per-day codes exceeded the limit, according to the latest Medicare Quarterly Provider Compliance Newsletter .
AHIMA is calling for coders, billers, and providers to contact Congress to ask for no additional delays to ICD-10 after physician groups have recently started to advocate for members to petition Congress to introduce a new, two-year implementation delay to push the compliance date to October 1, 2017.
The House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would impact supervision levels for certain outpatient services. Debbie Mackaman, RHIA, CPCO , reviews the impact of the legislation and which provider types and services it would affect.
Editor's note: Jugna Shah, MPH, president and founder of Nimitt Consulting, writes a bimonthly column for Briefings on APCs, commenting on the latest policies and regulations and analyzing their impact on providers.
Coders aren’t the only ones who run into problems due to a lack of complete physician documentation. Lack of sufficient documentation also causes problems for audit review of submitted claims, which in turn leads to delays in payment, according to the October 2014 Medicare Quarterly Provider Compliance Newsletter .
The four Cooperating Parties released the 2015 ICD-10-CM guidelines and, in the process, deleted a guideline that affects inpatient coding. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and CMS posted the new guidelines on their websites.
In its latest survey of the healthcare industry's ICD-10 readiness, the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) found that this year's delay negatively impacted provider progress, with two-thirds reporting slowing down or putting implementation initiatives on hold as a result.
The October update to the OPPS and Integrated Outpatient Code Editor (I/OCE) includes a payment correction, in addition to new HCPCS codes and other changes. Dave Fee, MBA, reviews CMS' changes and details the retroactive payment correction.
Recovery Auditors have uncovered incorrect secondary diagnoses in patients who underwent amputations for musculoskeletal and circulatory system disorders. CMS revealed the findings in its Quarterly Compliance Newsletter .