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Coding Basics ASDIN Coding Committee 1 CPT Codes CPT stands for Current Procedural Terminology Current Procedural Terminology refers to a listing of.

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Presentation on theme: "Coding Basics ASDIN Coding Committee 1 CPT Codes CPT stands for Current Procedural Terminology Current Procedural Terminology refers to a listing of."— Presentation transcript:


2 Coding Basics ASDIN Coding Committee 1

3 CPT Codes CPT stands for Current Procedural Terminology Current Procedural Terminology refers to a listing of descriptive terms and identifying 5 digit codes for reporting medical services and procedures performed by physicians 2

4 CPT CPT codes and their descriptors are created by the AMA CPT Editorial Panel assisted by the AMA CPT Advisory Committee The CPT codes are owned by the AMA They have been adopted as a standard by CMS 3

5 CPT Advisory Committee This committee plays a very important role in the creation and description of CPT codes It is made up of representatives of all of the appropriate speciality societies The RPA represents interventional nephrologists on this committee 4

6 Requirements for Representation Representation on the CPT advisory committee is critically important In order to have representation on the committee, at least 50% of RPA members must be members of the AMA In order for RPA to represent interest of ASDIN, at least 50% of our members must be members of RPA 5

7 RBRVS RBRVS stands for Resource-Based Relative Value Scale This is a schema used to determine how much medical providers should be paid by CMS for any given code RBRVS assigns procedures relative value units (RVU) which are adjusted by geographic region This value is then multiplied by a fixed conversion factor, which changes annually, to determine the amount of payment RBRVS determines prices based on three separate factors: – physician work (52%) – practice expense (44%), and – malpractice expense (4%) 6

8 CMS is mandated to make appropriate adjustments to the RBRVS in response to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989 to account for changes in medical practice coding and new data and procedures 7

9 RUC Committee RUC stands for AMA/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) This committee acts as an expert panel in developing RVS update recommendations to CMS in making adjustments to the RBRVS 8

10 Make-Up of RUC Committee The committee has 31 members The AMA Board of Trustees selects the RUC chair and also the AMA representative to the RUC The individual RUC members are nominated by the specialty societies and are approved by the AMA Nephrology representation on this committee is through an Internal Medicine representative 9

11 CPT Codes 10

12 CPT Codes Each code is unique and consists of 5 digits The first digit of each code is determined by its category – 3 XXXX indicates a surgical (or procedural) code – 7XXXX indicates a radiological code – 9XXXX indicates a medical code However, any of these codes can be used by any type of physician, they are not restricted to a speciality 11

13 Component Coding This is a process by which multiple codes (a list) are used for a single patient encounter This list may differ somewhat from one encounter to another based upon what was actually done For example in performing a thrombectomy, there are a few basic codes that are always used, but in an individual case something additional might be required resulting in an additional code being added to the list 12

14 Documentation Documentation is an important part of the coding of a procedure It is critical that what was done be documented in a manner that can be easily understood by another person who might have a reason to read the operative report If the documentary evidence does not support the coding, it is problematic 13

15 Add-On Codes Add-on codes enable separate identification of a service that is performed in certain situations as an additional component or as a commonly performed supplemental service to the primary service/procedure that was performed For example if an access is cannulated, the basic code is 36147. However, at times it is necessary to cannulate a second time. This warrants a second code + 36148. In this situation the second cannulation is an add-on code 14

16 More on Add-On Codes CPT designates the codes that are considered add-on codes These codes are identified with a “+” sign (+36148) In addition, the code descriptors contain some variation of the phrase “List separately in addition to code for primary procedure.” An add-on code is not a stand-alone code, it can not be used except with the primary code They are exempt to the depreciated value that occurs when multiple procedures 15

17 NCII Edits NCII stands for the National Correct Coding Initiative NCII edits are published from time to time to clarify how certain codes are to be applied A series of NCII edits has been published dealing with pairs of codes when used together: – Column 1/Column2 edits – Medically unlikely edits 16

18 Column 1/Column 2 Edits These edits get their name from the table in which the code-pairs appear The CPT code appearing in Column 1 is the payable service The code in Column 2 is the non-payable code (unless it is qualifies for an appropriate modifier) 17

19 In effect, the edit bundles the Column 2 service into the Column 1 service when either: – The Column 2 procedure is an integral part of Column 1 (comprehensive), or when – The Column 1 and Column 2 procedures could not reasonably, based on medical necessity, be provided to the same patient on the same day by the same physician However, in some cases the Column 2 code can be used with a modifier 18

20 In the printed version of these edits there are 6 columns Only 3 are of importance to us – Column 1 is the payable code in the edit pair – Column 2 is the non-payable code in the edit pair – Column 6 shows whether exceptions are allowed for billing the code pair (the use of a modifier) 19

21 Column 6 will have either a “0” or a “1” – “0” – indicates that the two are mutually exclusive, the column 2 code can not be used with the Column 1 code – “1” – indicates that the Column 2 code can be used with Column 1 but only with an appropriate modifier attached The modifier most frequently applied is 59 20

22 Examples 21

23 It should be noted that the same code can be a column 1 code when paired with one code and a column 2 code when paired with a different code 22

24 Medically Unlikely Edits (MUE) An MUE for a CPT code sets the maximum number of units that a physician can report under most circumstances for a single patient on a single date of service These are ordinarily based upon the natural anatomic limits If the MUE is “2,” no more than 2 units of that code can be used for a single patient on a single date of service It should be noted that not all CPT codes have MUEs associated with them 23

25 Example 35476 (venous angioplasty) has an MUE of 2 for a dialysis access case This means that this code can only be used 2 times for each individual patient on a single day of service However, 35476 can only be used 1 time within the access (MUE of 1) and 1 time within the central veins (MUE of 1) 24

26 Use of Dx and Tx RS&I Codes Together Vascular diagnostic and therapeutic procedures often are performed at the same encounter Each of these may be associated with a radiological supervision and interpretation code (RS&I) When a diagnostic RS&I code is used in association with a therapeutic RS&I code, a -59 modifier should be attached to the diagnostic RS&I code 25

27 Example Procedure - embolization coil followed by a post-coil angiogram via catheter Codes for the coil placement - 37204 and 75894 – 75894 is a therapeutic RS&I Code for the angiogram - 75898-59 – 75898 is a diagnostic RS&I 26

28 Lower Extremity Revascularization (LER) Codes In most instances, the coding guidelines for the upper and lower extremity are the same An exception to this rule occurs when arterial work is performed in the lower extremity In this instance the LER rules apply 27

29 Global Period A number of the procedures that are performed have global periods This is a period of time following a procedure during which services provided by the physician related to the original procedure are considered to be included in the reimbursement and cannot be separately reported For our purposes, this means that if the same procedure is repeated during this period, it is not covered 28

30 Global Period Examples 36870 (thrombectomy) - 90 days 36565 (tunneled catheter placement) – 10 days 36581 (tunneled catheter exchange) – 10 days 36589 (tunneled catheter removal) – 10 days 49421 (insertion of peritoneal catheter) – 90 days 49422 (removal of peritoneal catheter) – 10 days 29

31 Definitions The definition of what constitutes a repeat procedure is important Examine the following two scenarios: 30

32 Scenario 1 Day 1 - A patient had a thrombectomy - flow was restored Day 2 – At dialysis, the access was found to have thrombosed again. The patient returned to the center where it is found that a stenotic lesion had been missed and that a clot had formed distal to the lesion. A repeat thrombectomy was performed This procedure should not be reported, it is a continuation of the original which was incomplete – it is within the global period. 31

33 Scenario 2 Day 1 - A patient had a thrombectomy - flow was restored Day 4 –The access thrombosed again following a prolonged period of hypotension. The patient returned to the center and a thrombectomy was performed. There was no evidence of stenosis present. The only apparent cause for the event was the hypotension. The procedure can be reported. This is not a continuation of the previous procedure, but a new event related to the hypotension. The global period would not apply. 36870 should be reported with a 79 modifier to indicate that this is an unrelated procedure 32

34 Professional and Technical Services Some radiology services (7xxxx codes) are eligible for the separate payment of professional and technical components – Applies only to hospital, not ASC or office site of service – Used if physician does not own or is not employed by the facility Modifier – 26 Physician services only – TC Technical component only No modifier (Global designation) – Used if the physician owns or is employed by the facility 33

35 Place of Service Codes are utilized on professional claims to specify the entity where service(s) were rendered Applicable codes to vascular access procedures – 11 office – 22 outpatient hospital – 24 ambulatory surgery center – 21 inpatient hospital 34

36 Physician Office Based Procedures Paid according to the CMS Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) – Updated annually Facility – Includes only the physician’s professional service (work) payment assuming that the procedure is being performed in a facility which the physician does not own (Hospital, ASC) Non-facility – The payment for physicians who are performing procedures in their own office facility – This higher reimbursement is intended to reimburse both the physician’s professional work and the facility costs related to the procedure. 35

37 Ambulatory Surgery Center Procedures Physician paid using CMS Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) according to the facility rate ASC paid using CMS Ambulatory Surgery Center Schedule – List of reimbursable procedures published annually – Some procedures used for vascular access not reimbursable in this place of service e.g. Currently no reimbursement for radiologic 7xxxx codes – Expanded number of surgical procedures reimbursed compared to office place of service e.g. Many open surgical procedures have no “non-facility” reimbursement 36

38 Important Note This document is for informational purposes only and should serve as a guideline for appropriate coding. The ultimate responsibility for correct coding /documentation remains with the provider of service. ASDIN makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee that this compilation of information is error-free, nor that the use of this guide will prevent differences of opinion or disputes with CMS or any other carrier. ASDIN will bear no responsibility or liability for the results or consequences that may grow out of the use of this guidance. 37

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