Billing & Reimbursement

Under the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA), all Medicare suppliers of the technical component of advanced imaging services have until by January 1, 2012 to become accredited by an accreditation organization designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services . This includes physicians, non-physician practitioners, and physician and non-physician organizations paid for the technical … Continue Reading

In case you missed it, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) eliminated use of the evaluation and management Consultation Codes.  Consultations are now to be billed using the standard E/M visit codes.  According to CMS Transmittal 1875:

"Effective January 1, 2010, the consultation codes are no longer recognized for Medicare Part B payment. Physicians shall code patient … Continue Reading

According to a recent Transmittal from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, physicians and others are using modifier -PC to designate the "professional component" of diagnostic tests.  However, the -PC modifier is actually to be used to designate "Wrong Surgical or Other Invasive Procedure Performed on a Patient." 

Apparently many providers assume that because the modifier for technical component … Continue Reading

It is apparent that preventive care will take on greater importance in the "reformed " health care system and while Medicare historically did not cover routine or preventive screening services, the list of preventive services now covered by Medicare has grown in recent years.  Physicians should familiarize themselves with the applicable coverage and billing rules so as not to miss an … Continue Reading

Physicians enrolling in the Medicare program should be aware that Medicare recently changed the rules applicable to when a physician’s enrollment is deemed to take effect. Specifically, the FY 2009 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule establishes that the effective date of billing for physicians and non-physician practitioners is the later of: (1) the date of filing of a Medicare enrollment application that … Continue Reading

Does your practice bill Medicare for diagnostic tests?

If so, you have until January 1, 2009 to make sure your arrangements comply with the now very complicated anti-markup rule. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the Final Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for 2009 in the Federal register on November 19, 2009. Among other things addressed in the … Continue Reading

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Dept of Health and Human Services released its FY2009 Workplan yesterday. The Workplan outlines the initiatives and audits that the OIG expects to undertake in the coming fiscal year.  Below are some of the key initiatives that the OIG expects to undertake with regard to physicians.  If you or your practice is … Continue Reading

According to an article in the New York Times, Aetna will soon begin offering a new service to help enable patients to research their own specific medical conditions. Specifically, Aetna’s SmartSource Service will allow patients to link online research with their own medical records and claims data.  While a better patient educated patient population holds hope for cutting down … Continue Reading

(By William H. Maruca, Esq. – Posted with permission of the Allegheny County Medical Society ) 

A tentative settlement has been reached in a class action brought on behalf of a group of affected physicians against Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans which alleged that the plans engaged in certain misconduct that resulted in the denial or downcoding of physician claims. … Continue Reading