Tag Archives | Jennifer Swindle

Medicare Covers 99406, 99407

If you’ve been writing off tobacco cessation counseling as non-payable, it’s time to change your tune.

The change: In the past, you could collect for tobacco cessation counseling for a patient with a tobacco-related disease or with signs or symptoms of one. But on Aug. 25, CMS announced that “under new coverage, any smoker covered by Medicare will be able to receive tobacco cessation counseling from a qualified physician or other Medicare recognized practitioner who can work with them to help them stop using tobacco.”

“For too long, many tobacco users with Medicare coverage were denied access to evidencebased tobacco cessation counseling,” said Kathleen Sebelius, HHS secretary, in an Aug. 25 statement. “Most Medicare beneficiaries want to quit their tobacco use. Now, older adults and other Medicare beneficiaries can get the help they need to successfully overcome tobacco dependence.”

Count Attempts and Minutes

The new tobacco cessation counseling coverage expansion will apply to services under Medicare Part B and Part A. That means your physicians and coders should know how to correctly document and report the sessions.

“Medicare allows billing for two counseling attempts in a year, but each attempt can occur over multiple sessions, with four sessions per attempt,” explains Jennifer Swindle, CPC, CPC-E/M, CPC-FP, RHIT, CCP-P, director of coding and compliance for PivotHealth LLC in Brentwood, Tenn.

According to section 12 of chapter 32 of the Medicare Claims Processing Manual, “Claims for smoking and tobacco use cessation counseling services shall be submitted with an appropriate diagnosis code. Diagnosis codes should reflect: the condition the patient has that is adversely affected by tobacco use or the condition the patient is being treated for with a therapeutic agent whose metabolism or dosing is affected by tobacco use.”

Swindle says 305.1 (Tobacco use disorder) is one diagnosis supporting…

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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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