Correct Modifiers Make All the Difference When Coding for X-ray Services

Q: During a recent internal audit of claims where x-rays were being billed, it was brought to my attention that we were not using the appropriate modifiers since we use computed radiography (CR) x-ray machines. What are those modifiers and will using them affect my reimbursement? A: As outlined in the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) imposed reimbursement cuts to the technical component for x-rays performed on older technology beginning in 2017 with increased cuts in 2018 and 2023. (See Table 1.) …
Read More

UnitedHealthcare Discontinuing S9083 and S9088 in Multiple States and Medicare Telehealth Policies

Beginning April 1, 2019 UnitedHealthcare will revise their policies to discontinue reimbursement for HCPCS code S9083, “Global fee urgent care centers” in some states (see Table 1). The change affects UnitedHealthcare commercial plans, United Healthcare Oxford, and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan policies. Additionally, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan will no longer reimburse HCPCS code S9088, “Services provided in an urgent care center.” Providers should report the Evaluation and Management (E/M), and/or procedure code(s) that specifically describes the services provided, consistent with the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) manual.  Q: Are the 2019 telehealth Healthcare …
Read More

Navigating the Credentialing Process to Maximize Revenue and Minimize Denials

What is the best way to get my practitioners credentialed with various insurance companies and networks? It is frustrating to try and navigate this convoluted process. I am asked by each insurance company to complete a mound of paperwork and collect a stack of supporting documents for each practitioner. Then I wait months for approval notifications and effective dates. As a result, we end up losing some patients because they want to be treated at medical offices where their in-network benefits will apply. If we do treat patients with an …
Read More

Big Changes in Medicare Evaluation and Management Reimbursement

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has published the proposed changes for the Calendar Year (CY) 2019 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS).1 Probably the most controversial of these proposed changes is the Patients Over Paperwork initiative, which streamlines documentation requirements and reimbursement for Evaluation and Management (E/M) services in the office and outpatient setting, affecting Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes 99201 through 99215. CMS has announced that it plans to eliminate differential payments for most E/M codes on January 1, 2019. For the E/M codes only, Medicare will pay …
Read More

Small Errors Could Cost Big Bucks When Billing for I&D

Q: While reviewing charts where incision and drainage (I&D) procedures were being performed, I came across instances where Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code 10060, “Incision and drainage of abscess (eg, carbuncle, suppurative hidradenitis, cutaneous or subcutaneous abscess, cyst, furuncle, or paronychia); simple or single” was billed for treatment of an abscess on the finger. I believe this is an error, since this procedure involved an abscess of the finger pad and not just paronychia. Can you explain the different I&D procedures please?   A: If the procedure documentation in your …
Read More
Loading...