Tag Archives | Cemc

J0881 and J0885 Are Commonly Reported Codes — Master Their Uncommon Requirements

Modifiers and test results are among the ‘instant denial’ triggers for these codes.

Whether you search under medical oncology, hematology, or hematology/oncology, J0881 and J0885 rank first and third on the lists of the top 10 codes reported to the CMS database (2009). These J-codes for erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESAs) carry a heavy load of very specific reporting requirements and volatile reimbursement rates. To be sure your claims for these frequently reported codes are as clean and accurate as possible, apply the tips below.

Learn more: These recently available top 10 rankings are listed in a file posted by Frank Cohen, MPA, principal and Senior Analyst for The Frank Cohen Group. Choose the link for “Top 10 procedure codes by frequency for all specialties” at www.frankcohen.com/html/access.html.

Warm Up With Code and ESA Definitions

The HCPCS codes in focus are as follows:

  • J0881, Injection, darbepoetin alfa, 1 mcg (non-ESRD use)
  • J0885, Injection, epoetin alfa (for non-ESRD use), 1000 units.

Code J0881 is appropriate to report the supply of Aranesp. Code J0885 applies instead to supply of Epogen or Procrit. Keep in mind that the J codes represent only the supply. You should report the ESA administration separately using 96372 (Therapeutic, prophylactic, or diagnostic injection [specify substance or drug]; subcutaneous or intramuscular) for intramuscular (IM) administration, says Janae Ballard, CPC, CPC-H, CPMA, CEMC, PCS, FCS, coding manager for The Coding Source, based in Los Angeles.

Both codes indicate they are specific to “non-ESRD use.” ESRD is short for end stage renal disease. Consequently, these codes are appropriate when the injection is connected to oncologic use.

What ESAs do: ESAs stimulate bone marrow to produce more red blood cells, according to…

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Overcome 3 Myths and Claim Reimbursement Opportunities using Modifier 22

Don’t fall for these common body habitus, time, and fee traps.

If you overuse Modifièr 22 (Increased procedural services), you may face increased scrutiny from your payers or even the Office of Inspector General (OIG). But if you avoid the modifièr entirely, you’re likely missing out on reimbursement your cardiologist deserves.

How it works: When a procedure requires significant additional time or effort that falls outside the normal effort of services described by a particular CPT® codè — and no other CPT® codè better describes the work involved in the procedure — you should look to modifièr 22. Modifièr 22 represents those extenuating circumstances that do not merit the use of an additional or alternative CPT® codè but do land outside the norm and may support added reimbursement for a given procedure.  Take a look at these three myths — and the realities — to ensure you don’t fall victim to these modifièr 22 trouble spots.

Myth 1: Morbid Obesity Means Automatic 22

Sometimes, an interventional cardiologist may need to spend more time than usual positioning a morbidly obese patient for a procedure and accèssing the vessels involved in that procedure. In that case, it may be appropriate to append modifièr 22 to the relevant surgical codè. However, it’s not appropriate to assume that just because the patient is morbidly obese you can always append modifièr 22.  “Modifièr 22 is about extra procedural work and, although morbid obesity might lead to extra work, it is not enough in itself,” says Marcella Bucknam, CPC, CCS-P, CPC-H, CCS, CPC-P, COBGC, CCC, Manager of Compliance education for the University of Washington Physiciáns Compliance Program in Seattle.

“Unless time is significant or the intensity of the procedure is increased due to the obesity, then modifièr 22 should not be appended,” warns Maggie Mac, CPC,

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A-Scans: Report Denial Proof 76511 Claim With Accurate Bilateral, Modifier Reporting

One of the most common procedures in ophthalmology is A-scan ultrasound biometry, which is associated with some of the most uncommon coding problems.

According to CPT, A-scans — 76511, 76516, and 76519 — are the shortened names for amplitude modulation scans, “one-dimensional ultrasonic measurement procedures,” notes Maggie M. Mac, CPC, CEMC, CHC, CMM, ICCE, Director, Best Practices-Network Operations at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

Ophthalmologists use 76511 (Ophthalmic ultrasound, diagnostic; quantitative A-scan only) to diagnose eye-related complications such as eye tumors, hemorrhages, retinal detachment, etc.

Physicians use 76516 (Ophthalmic biometry by ultrasound echography, A-scan) to measure the axial length of the eye in preparation for cataract surgery.

And 76519 (Ophthalmic biometry by ultrasound echography, A-scan; with intraocular lens power calculation) allows ophthalmologists to determine the intraocular lens calculation prior to cataract surgery only.

Typically, most A-scans are performed bilaterally. However, circumstances may only require the physician to perform a unilateral scan.

Each A-scan code has separate requirements when billed bilaterally. For example, payers consider 76511 unilateral, requiring the use of modifiers LT/RT/50 (Left side/Right side/Bilateral procedure) or the units value of “2.”

But 76516 is inherently bilateral, so you shouldn’t append modifier 50 to it.

For CPT Code 76519, some payers (including Medicare) consider only the technical component bilateral whereas the professional component is unilateral.

Some non-Medicare payers, on the other hand, want you to bill globally and don’t typically divide the professional and technical components, so you must determine which insurance company you are coding for and what its policy is for billing A-scans.

Medicare carriers for Part B services have published articles specifying their preference to report a bilateral service with a single line item with modifier 50 and one unit of service, whereas [some] non-Medicare payers prefer reporting bilateral services with two line items…

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Pre-Cataract Surgery Coding Myths You Should Bust

Improperly coding IOL Masters or A-scans can cost your practice $30 per patient.

Calculating intraocular lens power for patients facing cataract surgery has gotten more precise as A-scan and IOL Master technology has advanced. But to make sure your practice is getting fairly reimbursed each time, you need to understand the bilateral rules for 76519 and 92136.

Could one of these myths be damaging your claims?

Include Bilateral and Unilateral Components in Global Code

Myth: If the ophthalmologist calculates IOL power in both eyes, you should report 76519 (Ophthalmic biometry by ultrasound echography, A-scan; with intraocular lens power calculation) or 92136 (Ophthalmic biometry by partial coherence interferometry with intraocular lens power calculation) twice (e.g., 76519-RT and 76519-LT, or 76519-50).

Reality: You should not report 76519 or 92136 with modifier 50 even if the ophthalmologist calculated the IOL power of both eyes, warns Maggie M. Mac, CPC, CEMC, CHC, CMM, ICCE, Director, Best Practices-Network Operations at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. To understand why, it’s helpful to know how Medicare’s Physician Fee Schedule values the procedures.

As it does with many other diagnostic tests, CMS divides the A-scan (76519) and the IOL Master (92136) into two components. The technical component (the actual performing of the test) is denoted with modifier TC, and the professional component (viewing and interpreting the results) is denoted with modifier 26.

For most procedures, the technical and professional components have the same bilateral status – for example, 92250-TC and 92250-26 (Fundus photography with interpretation and report) are both considered inherently bilateral, denoted with modifier indicator “2” on the fee schedule. The reimbursement for all components of 92250 is based on both eyes being tested.

Exception: For both 76519 and 92136, the technical component has a different bilateral status from the professional component. You can find…

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ICD-9 2011: Avoid H1N1, Fecal Incontinence Denials With 5th Digit Savvy

488.1x Cheat sheet makes fast work of snagging correct code.

Don’t let rumors of few ICD-9 changes in prep for ICD-10 blindside you to top diagnosis changes for 2011. Without the scoop on expansion to the 488, 784, and 787 categories, denials for invalid codes will derail your claims delaying your payments.

In ICD-9 2011, “Codes continue to become more and more specific necessitating a provider to document clearly and thoroughly to allow for selection of the most specific and accurate code,” says Jennifer Swindle, RHIT, CCS-P, CEMC, CFPC, CCP-P, PCS, Director Coding & Compliance Division, PivotHealth, LLC.

Good news: Updating your ICD-9 coding by the Oct. 1, 2010, effective date doesn’t have to be a chore. Start using your new choices in no time flat following these guidelines.

Look at Manifestation When Assigning “Swine Flu” Dx

This fall, when a patient has H1N1 (“swine flu”) pay attention to two details. The medical record will have to identify the correct influenza and you will have to capture the appropriate manifestation to select the codes to the degree of specificity now required, Swindle points out.

With the change “category 488 (Influenza due to certain identified influenza viruses) would mirror the structure of category 487 (Influenza),” according to the Summary of March 2010 ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee Meeting. The current 488.x sub-category didn’t provide the level of detail that category 487 (Influenza) does.

Change: There will be “tremendous expansion of the H1N1 category,” Swindle explains. ICD-9 2011 deletes 488.0 and 488.1 and adds six new five-digit codes. New codes 488.0x (Influenza due to identified avian influenza virus) and 488.1x (Influenza due to identified novel H1N1 influenza virus) allow you “to uniquely capture pneumonia, other respiratory manifestations, and other manifestations occurring with these types of influenza,” states the summary.

Starting Oct….

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CCI 16.1: This Electrophysiology Edit Deletion Is Official

If you’ve been holding study claims, the time to send them in is here.

Correct Coding Initiative (CCI) version 16.1 has the news you’ve been waiting for.

The latest version, effective April 1, deletes 142 edit pairs, Frank D. Cohen,…

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Get Paid for EM Visits: How Much ROS Documentation Is Enough?

Caution: Keep enough paperwork on hand to back up EHR.
Transitioning to the world of Electronic Health Records (EHR) can make your coding easier on many levels, but don’t take it for granted. Physicians often fall short in their review of systems (ROS) documentation whether you use paper charts or rely on EHR, but you can […]

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ICD-9 Coding: Stop Asking ‘Which Diagnosis Code Will Get My Claim Paid?’

Assigning an ICD-9 code merely to get your claim paid could land you in legal hot water.
Medical coders face a lot of questions each day in the course of their work, but one question you should not be asking is “which diagnosis code should I put on this claim if I want to collect?”
When […]

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