June Medicare Transmittals and Other Updates

on Tuesday, 23 June 2020. All News Items | Outpatient Services | Miscellaneous | Medicare Coverage | Coding | Billing



Quarterly Influenza Virus Vaccine Code Update – July 2020

  • Article Release Date: January 31, 2020
  • What You Need to Know: The influenza virus vaccine code set is updated on a quarterly basis. Reminder, effective for claims processed with dated of service on or after July 1, 2020, influenza virus vaccine code 90694 (influenza virus vaccine, quadrivalent (allV4), inactivated, adjuvanted, preservative free, 0.5 ml dosage, for intramuscular use) is payable by Medicare.
  • MLN MM11603: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/mm11603.pdf

July 2020 Integrated Outpatient Code Editor (I/OCE) Specification Version 21.2

  • Article Release Date: June 5, 2020
  • What You Need to Know: This article provides the I/OCE instructions and specifications for the I/OCE employed under the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and non-OPPS. The specifications are for:
    • Hospital outpatient departments
    • Community mental health centers
    • All non-OPPS hospital providers
    • For limited services when provided in a Home Health Agency (HHA) not under the HH Prospective Payment System (PPS) or to a hospice patient for the treatment of a non-terminal illness. The I/OCE specifications will be posted at http://www.cms.gov/OutpatientCodeEdit/.
  • MLN Matters MM11792: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/mm11792.pdf

July 2020 Update of the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS)

  • Article Release Date: June 5, 2020
  • What You Need to Know: The following list highlights the main topics included in this document:
    • COVID-19 Laboratory Tests and Services and Other Laboratory Tests Coding Update,
    • Status Indicator Changes for Certain Virtual Services,
    • New Telehealth Code for a Telehealth Distant Site Service Furnished by a Rural Health Clinical (RHC) or Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Only,
    • New CPT Category III Codes Effective July 1, 2020,
    • CPT Proprietary Laboratory Analysis (PLA) Coding Changes Effective July 1, 2020,
    • Hemodialysis Arteriovenous Fistula (AVF) Procedures: Replacement Codes for HCPCS Codes C9754 and C9755,
    • Device Pass-Through Updates,
    • Changes to Certain Device Offsets for 2020,
    • Drugs, Biologicals, and Radiopharmaceuticals,
    • Skin Substitutes – New Products,
    • New Separately Payable Procedure Codes – Surgical Procedures,
    • New HCPCS Codes Describing Strain-Encoded Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI),
    • New HCPCS Codes Describing Peripheral Intravascular Lithotripsy,
    • Supervision of Outpatient Therapeutic Services,
  • MLN MM11814: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/mm11814.pdf

July Quarterly Update for the 2020 Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Fee Schedule

  • Article Release Date: June 5, 2020
  • What You Need to Know: This article informs DME MACs about changes to the DMEPOS fee schedules that are updated quarterly, when necessary, in order to implement fee schedule amounts for new and existing codes, as applicable, and apply changes in payment policies.

Note, this update includes guidance from the interim final rule with comment period (CMS-5531-IFC) entitled “Medicare and Medicaid Programs, Basic Health Program, and Exchanges; Additional Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Delay of Certain Reporting Requirements for the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program” published in the Federal Register May 8, 2020. This final rule implements a section of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act regarding fee schedule adjustments.

Quarterly Update for the Temporary Gap Period of the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program (CBP) – October 2020

  • Article Release Date: June 5, 2020
  • What You Need to Know: Medicare Updates the DMEPOS CBP files on a quarterly basis to implement necessary changes to HCPCS, ZIP code, and supplier files. Related Change Request CR 11819 provides specific instruction for implementing the DMEPOS CBP files.
  • MLN MM11819: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/mm11819.pdf

Quarterly Update for Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule and Laboratory Services Subject to Reasonable Charge Payment

  • Article Release Date: June 12, 2020
  • What You Need to Know: This article informs labs about changes in the quarterly update. Several of the updates are specific to guidance regarding lab testing related to COVID-19.
  • MLN MM11815: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/mm11815.pdf




Implement Operating Rules – Phase III Electronic Remittance Advice (ERA) Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT): Committee on Operating Rules for Information Exchange (CORE) 360 Uniform Use of Claim Adjustment Reason Codes (CARC), Remittance Advise Remark Codes (RARC) and Claim Adjustment Group Code (CAGC) Rule – Update from Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH) CORE

  • Article Release Date: May 22, 2020
  • What You Need to Know: Informs you of updates the MACs and Shared System Maintainers (SSMs) will make to systems based on the CORE 360 Uniform use of CARC, RARC, CAGC rule publications. Updates are based on the CORE Combination Codes List to be published on or about June 1, 2020.
  • MLN Matters MM11709: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/mm11709.pdf

New Point of Origin Code for Transfer from a Designated Disaster Alternate Care Site

  • Article Release Date: June 12, 2020
  • What You Need to Know: Code “G” is a new Point of Origin (PoO) code to indicate a “transfer from a Designated Disaster Alternative Care Site (ACS),” due to changes relative to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE).
  • MLN MM11836: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/mm11836.pdf




International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) and Other Coding Revisions to National Coverage Determinations (NCDs)—October 2020 Update

  • Article Release Date: May 1, 2020 – Rescinded May 26, 2020
  • What You Need to Know: This article was rescinded on May 26, 2020, as the related Change Request (CR) 11749, Transmittal 10092, dated May 1, 2020, was rescinded in its entirety. Therefore, any coding changes to NCD 90.2, Next Generation Sequencing are null and void.
  • MLN MM11749: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/mm11749.pdf


Supplier Education on Use of Upgrades for Multi-Function Ventilators

  • Article Release Date: May 29, 2020
  • What You Need to Know: This article was revised to show that the policy on use of multi-function ventilators, as discussed in the “What You Need to Know” section, is a permanent change.
  • MLN SE20012: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/se20012.pdf


Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model – Implementation of the Hospice Benefit Component

  • Article Release Date: May 29, 2020 – Revised June 9, 2020
  • What You Need to Know: This article provides information about the hospice benefit component associated with the VBID Model being tested by the CMS Innovation Center and starting in Calendar Year (CY) 2021. CMS highlights that “providers MUST still submit claims for these services to Medicare.” CMS revised this MLN article on June 9th to reflect a revised CR 11754 issued on June 9th.
  • MLN Matters MM11754: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/mm11754.pdf

NCD (20.32) Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

  • Article Release Date: March 24, 2020 – Revised June 10, 2020
  • What You Need to Know: This article was revised to reflect formatting revisions in Change Request 11660. The substance of the article was not altered.
  • MLN MM11660: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/mm11660.pdf




National Coverage Determination (NCD) 160.18 Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)

  • Article Release Date: June 1, 2020
  • What You Need to Know: Change Request (CR) 11461 was published on May 22, 2020 highlighting that new to NCD 160.16, for claims with a date of service on or after February 15, 2019, the CMS covers FDA-approved VNS devices for treatment-resistant depression through Coverage with Evidence Development (CED) when all reasonable and necessary criteria are met. The accompanying MLN article was released on June 1, 2020.
  • MLN MM11461: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/mm11461.pdf

Other Medicare Updates


Prior Authorization (PA) Program for Certain Hospital Outpatient Department (ODP) Services CMS Operational Guide and FAQs

In last May CMS released an Operational Guide and FAQs related to this Program set to begin July 1, 2020.

2021 ICD-10-PCS Codes for Discharges Occurring from October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021

On May 28, 2020, CMS posted the 2021 Official ICD-10-PCS Coding Guidelines, Code Tables, and Addendum on the 2021 ICD-10-PCD CMS webpage.

KEPRO Case Review Connections: Acute Care Edition: Summer 2020

KEPRO published their Summer 2020 Case Review Connections e-newsletter. Topics included in this newsletter includes:

  • Medical Director’s Corner,
  • A Reminder About Appeals Cases,
  • Updates from CMS Related to COVID-19,
  • An Immediate Advocacy Success Story,
  • Frequently Asked Questions, and
  • Staff Education about BFCC-QIO Services.

June 17, 2020 CMS Proposed Rule: Establishing Minimum Standards in Medicaid State Drug Utilization (DUR) and Supporting Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) for Drugs Covered in Medicaid, Revising Medicaid Drug Rebate and Third Party Liability (TPL) Requirements (CMS 2482-P)

CMS Administrator Seema Verma noted in a Press Release that “CMS’s rules for ensuring that Medicaid receives the lowest price available for prescription drugs have not been updated in thirty years and are blocking the opportunity for markets to create innovative payment models…by modernizing our rules, we are creating opportunities for drug manufacturers to have skin in the game through payment arrangement that challenge them to put their money where their mouth is.”

The Press Release includes links to a related Fact Sheet and the Proposed Rule. CMS is accepting comments no later than 5 p.m. on July 20, 2020.


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