The 2018 OPPS and Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rules usually make their debuts around the Fourth of July, but despite a later release this year, there were plenty of fireworks within each rule that should generate provider feedback during the comment periods.
In June, CMS released the 2018 ICD-10-PCS Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting which include various revisions from the 2017 guidelines. These changes come on the heels of the 2018 IPPS proposed rule and recently released ICD-10-PCS codes.
CMS released the final 2018 ICD-10-CM codes on its website on June 13, and the release contained more code changes than expected following a preview of the new code set in April’s 2018 IPPS proposed rule.
CMS released a change request May 30 describing modifications which will be implemented in the July 2017 quarterly update to the OPPS. These changes include new ophthalmologic and maternal care codes as well as a handful of new drug codes.
CMS issued a change request to provide guidance to Medicare Administrative Contractors on the use of a new modifier to append to claims for dialysis treatments for end-stage renal disease exceeding the 13 or 14 monthly allowable treatments.
CMS released a change request April 28 which provides guidance for Medicare Administrative Contractors on how to ensure accurate program payment for moderate sedation services provided as part of screening colonoscopies.
CMS released four new resources in early April on the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, one of two new payment options under the Quality Payment Program initiative created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.
Audited hospitals generally applied modifier -59 (distinct procedural service) incorrectly when billing for outpatient right heart catheterizations and heart biopsies provided during the same encounter, leading to overpayments totaling approximately $7.6 million, according to a March report from the Office of Inspector General.
CMS released a new educational initiative , Connected Care , on March 15 to help raise awareness of the benefits of chronic care management services, as Medicare has recently added and started paying for these services.
On March 8, CMS released eight frequently asked questions (FAQ) related to the Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice (MOON). The FAQs reinforce that psychiatric hospitals must comply with the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act and MOON.
A study conducted by Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) based on data obtained from the 2013 Nationwide Readmissions Database, revealed that sepsis accounts for a higher rate of unplanned readmissions than the other studied medical conditions.