Articles

It is no secret that providers have long argued that E/M coding is burdensome and does not truly reflect the services provided. This fact is acknowledged by CMS with the following statement "Prior attempts to revise the E/M guidelines were unsuccessful or resulted in additional complexity due to lack of stakeholder consensus (with widely varying views among specialties), and differing perspectives on whether code revaluation would be necessary under the PFS as a result of revising the guidelines, which contributed another layer of complexity to the considerations."

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It is important to keep in mind that Medicaid is run at a state level so there can be some differences when it comes to coverage. However, the rules regarding balance billing of covered services is set at the federal level. The law states (emphasis added):

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We recently heard about a small practice that had been faithfully submitting all the required “G” codes for the Quality Payment Program (QPP) only to discover that for 2018 they are excluded from MIPS because the low volume threshold increased from $30,000 in Part B allowed charges or 100 Part B beneficiaries to $90,000 in Part B allowed charges or 200 Part B beneficiaries. They were unsure about what they needed to do at this point and how it would impact their practice.

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The physician compare website may not be working quite the way you think it is. Not all providers will have rankings showing up for them. Physician compare lists basic information, but quality measure information was not added until this year (2018) and not all quality measures are included in the Star Rating system. Additionally, patient surveys are also sent out and those are an additional rating.

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A recent OIG enforcement action emphasizes the need to understand the proper use of units. A healthcare provider in Connecticut submitted multiple units for urine drug screening tests. The press release stated that "Urine drug screening tests use a single sample of a patient’s urine to test for multiple classes of drugs. Although the test screens a patient’s urine for multiple classes of drugs, Medicare considers it a single test that should be billed only once per patient encounter."

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