One of the things we try and do to make sure we receive maximum reimbursement is to make all of our reference material easily available, and update it often. Like you know, I have been doing this for over 10 years now, and I have a LOT of information in my head. But my head is also significantly slower to update than the insurance companies, so I make sure that I have lists and spreadsheets with anything that will help make follow up easier. What I tell my trainees is that the rules change around here every 10 minutes because we have to constantly update to changes the insurance companies and the AMA are throwing at us.
Recently, we went through and updated all of our timely filing information guidelines for the insurances we deal with most. Here is the list for you guys. If there is anything you want added to the list, just use your Excel or Open Office program and insert those lines. We also included the timely filing limits for appeals, to make this tool actually useful. For those of you using keywords to search, this list includes timely filing information for Blue Cross, Apple Care, Blue Shield, TriCare, Cigna, Health Net, Medicare, Medi-Cal, and a couple dozen others.
Please click here to view or download the Timely Filing Guide . I also added this to the reference page for you. Please remember, if you bookmark any page on this blog, that would be the best one.
Share this with your friends and call or email if you have any questions or want any one on one or office wide training. (909) 305-0714. As always, thanks for reading.
***This post was written in 2014 and the rules have changed since then. I am going to be putting up a new post with the new rules updated to ICD10 very soon. There are some major changes to the way the insurances accept the charges and this an old post with the old rules. If you have any questions, and can’t wait for the new post, please email me directly and I will try and help you out.***
The first thing about paps is that every insurance pays them differently. To tell the truth, I don’t have most of it memorized. What I do have is a binder, with one page per insurance, and all of the pap rules are laid out there, in alphabetical order.
Of course, I’m going to give those to you. I suggest you do what I do and put them all in a three ring binder. However, I can only give you the PPO pap smear rules, because your HMO contracts will not be the same as the contracts for my doctors. I can show you a few of my HMO rules, though, so when/if you make your own reference sheets you know what the necessary information is.
You CAN get an office visit and a pap smear paid on the same date on the same claim. You just need to use proper modifiers. Also, most insurances allow patients to self refer for their annual exam, so you shouldn’t have to worry about authorizations.
Here are the Pap rules for PPO insurances. For your HMO insurances, all you need to do is call the provider relations department and get a copy of the doctor’s contract. The contract will be fairly short, and very clear about which codes are paid. However, you will need to ask the provider relations people which diagnosis they need to see on the claims.
If you want to review the high risk rules you can find those on the MR website. Here is a link, for the curious.
Remember to follow the blog; you’ll get an email every time I get a new post up. Also, if you have a specific question, please don’t hesitate to email me.
We are training several new employees right now. Glad to be expanding, progressing as expected, blah, blah, blah. But they are having a great deal of trouble with understanding when to use the modifiers 25 and 59. If we are having issues in here, some of you out there might be as well, and I want to make your life easier. First, for you technical types here are the exact descriptions from the CPT book.
Modifier 25 – Significant, Separately Identifiable Evaluation and Management Service by the Same Physician on the Same Day of the Procedure or Other Service:
It may be necessary to indicate that on the day a procedure or service identified by a CPT code was performed, the patient’s condition required a significant, separately identifiable E/M service above and beyond the other service provided or beyond the usual preoperative and postoperative care associated with the procedure that was performed. A significant, separately identifiable E/M service is defined or substantiated by documentation that satisfies the relevant criteria for the respective E/M service to be reported (see Evaluation and Management Services Guidelines for instructions on determining level of E/M service). The E/M service may be prompted by the symptom or condition for which the procedure and/or service was provided. As such, different diagnoses are not required for reporting of the E/M services on the same date. This circumstance may be reported by adding modifier 25 to the appropriate level of E/M service. Note: This modifier is not used to report an E/M service that resulted in a decision to perform surgery. See modifier 57. For significant, separately identifiable non-E/M services, see modifier 59.
Modifier 59 – Distinct Procedural Service:
Under certain circumstances, it may be necessary to indicate that a procedure or service was distinct or independent from other non-E/M services performed on the same day. Modifier 59 is used to identify procedures or services, other than E/M services, that are not normally reported together but are appropriate under the circumstances. Documentation must support a different session, different procedure or surgery, different site or organ system, separate incision or excision, separate lesion, or separate injury (or area of injury in extensive injuries) not ordinarily encountered or performed on the same day by the same individual. However, when another already established modifier is appropriate it should be used rather than modifier 59. Only if no more descriptive modifier is available and the use of modifier 59 best explains the circumstances should modifier 59 be used. Note: Modifier 59 should not be appended to an E/M service. To report a separate and distinct E/M service with a non-E/M service performed on the same date, see modifier 25.
Now for some practical application. The modifier 25 goes on the office visit. Here are the situtations in which you need a modifier: 1) If a patient gets a procedure on the same day as an office visit, 2) medication injected same day as an office visit, 3) pap smear done same day as an office visit, 4) physical done same day as an office visit. Don’t worry, we’re about to go through and lay out how we are supposed to use them.
If you need to bill an office visit and a procedure, you would use a modifier 25 on the office visit line. A procedure counts as any CPT code between 10000 and 69999. Plus, you need a different diagnosis on the procedure than you have on the office visit. Here is an example:
A patient comes in with ear pain and the doctor diagnoses her with an ear infection and does an ear lavage. If you want to get both the 99213 and the 69210 paid on the same visit here is how you would enter that charge:
When you put it in with a different dx on the office visit and a 25 modifier the insurance will pay each line item separately.
Paps and physicals work in a similar way. The medical dx go on the office visit and the V-codes go on the preventive service. I could write a whole post on paps (and probably will) but we are going to keep it simple here.
465.9 (ICD10 J06.9) 462 (ICD10 J02.9) 99213 – 25
When you need to bill an office visit and an injection on the same day, you have two options. The cpt 96372 is for an intramuscular injection of a J-code. You can bill the office visit and the substance all day and they will all get paid separately with no modifiers. The injection administration is what the insurances like to include in the office visit. However, you will get paid about $20.00 for each administration billed correctly and that can add up. Say a patient comes in with knee pain and the doctor diagnoses him with osteoarthritis and wants to give him an injection of Toradol. You put the symptom on the office visit with a 25 modifier and the substance and the admin have the condition. Then, you put a 59 modifier on the 96372. So, it would be three line items and it would look like this:
Knee pain 719.46 (ICD10 M25.569) 99213 – 25
Osteoarthritis 715.96 (ICD10 M17.9) J1885
Osteoarthritis 715.96 (ICD10 M17.9) 96372 – 59
I have attached an Updated modifier chart that will tell you when a service needs a modifier. We printed this out and gave it to all the new people and it seemed to clear up most of the confusion.
As always, call or email if you have any specific questions about something that didn’t make it through here on the blog.