January 2021 Special Edition of Medicare Transmittals and Other Updates

on Wednesday, 13 January 2021. All News Items | Outpatient Services | Miscellaneous | Medicare Coverage | Coding | Billing

Monthly, MMP provides a summary of Medicare Transmittals, related MLN Articles, Coverage Updates, CMS education resources and any other Medicare updates we believe to be pertinent to our readers. With the holiday season, December’s updates were released in last week’s Wednesday@One article. Since then, CMS has released additional MLN articles with updates effective early in January. For this reason, following is a list of pertinent updates that providers need to know before the end of January when our usual monthly article is published.

 

MEDICARE TRANSMITTALS – RECURRING UPDATES

 

January 2021 Update of the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS)

  • Article Release Date: January 5, 2021
  • What You Need to Know: The following major changes made in Change Request (CR) 12120 are highlighted in this MLN article:
    • COVID-19 Laboratory Tests and Services Coding Update,
    • CPT Proprietary Laboratory Analyses (PLA) coding changes effective October 6, 2020,
    • Monoclonal antibody therapy product and administration codes for drugs granted emergency use authorizations (EUAs) to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19,
    • New COVID-19 CPT vaccines and administration codes,
    • New device pass-through categories, device offset from payment, transitional pass-through payments for designated devices, and alternative pathway for devices that have a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Breakthrough Device designation,
    • New HCPCS code describing the administration of subretinal therapies requiring vitrectomy,
    • New HCPCS code describing nasal endoscopy with cryoablation of nasal tissue(s) and/or nerve(s),
    • New HCPCS code describing peripheral intravascular lithotripsy (IVL) procedures,
    • Comprehensive APCs (C-APCs) updates,
    • Changes to the Inpatient-Only List (IPO) for CY 2021,
    • Removals of selected National Coverage Determinations (NCDs) Effective January 1, 2021,
    • Changes to some Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) – related codes,
    • Change to the Status Indicator for HCPCS code P9099 (blood component or product not otherwise classified) from SI “ER” to SI “R,”
    • Drugs, Biologicals, and Radiopharmaceuticals updates,
    • Skin Substitutes,
    • Reporting for certain Outpatient Department services (that are similar to Therapy Services)(“Non-therapy outpatient department services”) and are Adjunctive to Comprehensive APC Procedures,
    • Payment Adjustment for Certain Cancer Hospitals Beginning CY 2021,
    • Method to control for unnecessary increased in utilization of outpatient services /G0463 with Modifier PO,
    • Changes to OPPS Pricer Logic,
    • Updates to the Outpatient Provider Specific File (OPSF),
    • Wage Index Policies in the CY 2021 OPPS,
    • Coverage Determinations reminder, and
    • General Supervision of Outpatient Hospital Therapeutic Services currently assigned to the Non-Surgical Extended Duration Therapy Services (NSEDTS) level of supervision.
  • MLN Article MM12120: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/mm12120.pdf

 

January 2021 Update of the Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System

  • Article Release Date: January 5, 2021
  • What You Need to Know: This article details changes and billing instructions for policies implemented in the January 2021 Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) update. Following are key points from the related Change Request (CR) 12129 included in this MLN article are:
    • Three new device pass through categories,
    • Device offset from Payment,
    • Device Pass-Through Payments,
    • New HCPCS code describing the administration of subretinal therapies requiring vitrectomy,
    • New HCPCS code describing nasal endoscopy with cryoablation of nasal tissue(s) and/or nerve(s),
    • Four new HCPCS code describing peripheral intravascular lithotripsy (IVL) procedures,
    • Removal of five National Coverage Determinations (NCDs) effective January 1, 2021 as stated in the CY 2021 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule.
    • The one existing and fifteen new HCPCS codes for certain drugs and biologicals in the ASC setting that will start to receive separate payment beginning January 1, 2021.
    • Retroactive payment for HCPCS J1097 (Phenylep ketorolac opth soln), brand name Omidria. This code became separately payable October 1, 2020. However, there was no available payment rate for MACs. “Consequently, ASCs that may have submitted claims for this drug, may not have been paid correctly…suppliers who think they may have previously received an incorrect payment or incorrect disposition associated with this correction for J1097, for claims beginning October 1, 2020, may request their MAC adjust the previously processed claims.”
    • Drugs and Biologicals with payments based on Average Sales Price (ASP),
    • Drugs and Biologicals based on ASP methodology with restated payment rates, and
    • Skin substitute procedure edits.

CMS ends this MLN article with the following statement about Coverage Determinations:

“Assignment of an HCPCS code and payment rate under the ASC payment system to a drug, device, procedure, or service doesn’t imply coverage by the Medicare program, but indicates only how the product, procedure, or service may be paid if covered by the program. MACs determine whether a drug, device, procedure, or other service meets all program requirements for coverage. For example, MACs determine that it is reasonable and necessary to treat the beneficiary’s condition and whether it’s excluded from payment.”

January 2021 Integrated Outpatient Code Editor (I/OCE) Specifications Version 22.0

  • Article Release Date: January 5, 2021
  • What You Need to Know: This article details changes to the January 2021 version of the Integrated Outpatient Code Editor (I/OCE) instructions and specifications for the Integrated OCE that Medicare uses:
    • Under the OPPS and Non-OPPS for hospital outpatient departments, community mental health centers and all non-OPPS providers,
    • For limited services when provided in a Home Health Agency (HHA) not under the Home Health Prospective Payment System, and
    • For a hospice patient for the treatment of a non-terminal illness.
  • MLN Article MM12114: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/mm12114.pdf

 

REVISED MEDICARE TRANSMITTALS

 

Billing for Home Infusion Therapy Services on or After January 1, 2021

  • Article Release Date: August 7, 2020 – Revised December 31, 2020
  • What You Need to Know: A revised Change Request (CR) 11880 was issued on December 31, 2020. This MLN Article was revised to reflect the CR where two codes (J1559 JB and J7799 JB) were added in Table 3.2 on page 7 of this article.
  • MLN MM11880: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/MM11880.pdf

 

MEDICARE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

 

Hospital Price Transparency Webcast: Audio Recording & Transcript

CMS provided the following information in their Thursday, January 7, 2021 edition of MLN Connects: “An audit recording, transcript, and clarification are available for the December 8 Medicare Learning Network webcast on Hospital Price Transparency. Effective January 1, each hospital operating in the United States is required to provide clear, accessible pricing information online. Learn about resources to help you prepare for compliance.”

 

Article by Beth Cobb

Beth Cobb, RN, BSN, ACM, CCDS, is the Manager of Clinical Analytics at Medical Management Plus, Inc.  Beth has over twenty-five years of experience in healthcare including eleven years in Case Management at a large multi-facility health system. 

In her current position, Beth is a principle writer for MMP’s Wednesday@One weekly e-newsletter, an active member of our HIPAA Compliance Committee, MMP’s Education Department Program Director and co-developer of MMP’s proprietary Compliance Risk Assessment (CRA) Tool. You may contact Beth at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This material was compiled to share information.  MMP, Inc. is not offering legal advice.  Every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure the information is accurate and useful.

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