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Medicare

Coding

What is the difference between an NCD and an LCD?

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

What is a Medicare NCD? An NCD or National Coverage Determination defines coverage for a particular item or service nationwide.
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Coding

Issues with the Radiology Department

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“My clinic is at the local hospital. I send X-rays to the radiology department. They are eventually read by a radiologist. However, I actually evaluate the x-rays and interpret them myself. Can I bill that component of the radiology fee? And if I do, will it affect radiologist reimbursement?”
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Coding

Routine Foot Care: Cash Clinic

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“I am in practice and would like to figure out a different way to contain and manage my routine foot care. It is approximately 15% of my practice. I would like to designate one morning a week as a routine foot care clinic. I am considering making this a cash only clinic: $50 for toenails and $50 for calluses. Is this possible? I am a Medicare provider and have contracts with most insurance companies. I was hoping to model my cash clinic on what some nurses in the area have done. They visit a nursing home and offer residents $25 for routine foot care and do not work with any insurance companies or Medicare. Any thoughts on this cash model, routine foot care clinic would be appreciated.”
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Coding

Diabetic Shoes and Amputees

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“I’m trying to determine the coverage of diabetic shoes for a patient who has had one foot/leg amputated. Somewhere in my brain I seem to remember that Medicare will cover a pair of shoes so the amputee can wear the shoe on his prosthetic. Does this also apply to heat moldable inserts? Can we dispense them for the shoe that will be used on the prosthetic leg? I would appreciate any thoughts on this situation. I have read the LCD and associated article but can’t seem to fully understand how this works.”
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Coding

Cigna and Modifier 25

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“I just received a letter from Cigna insurance. As of August 13, 2022, they will require the submission of office notes with claims submitted with Evaluation and Management/E and M codes (ie. 99212, CPT 99213, CPT 99214) appended by modifier -25 when a minor procedure is also billed the same day by the same physician. The E/M will be denied if documentation is not received. The claim can be sent electronically with attachment indicator and notes should be faxed. Is this happening with other insurance companies? The amount of paperwork for a small office is crazy and along with continued decreasing reimbursements, higher prices for supplies, shortages, etc. The insurance companies are making greater profits than ever. The insurance premiums have increased and out-of-pocket patient billing has become more significant. The system is not right. What can we do? How do we fight back? Please don’t say take cash rather than insurance, it’s not practical in many circumstances. Any thoughts?”
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Coding

E/M Revisited

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“For Medicare, it has been well established that debridement for callouses is not covered when class findings are not present. But what about that patient that complains of pain from a callus. If you evaluate the painful callus and manage the painful callus, would it not be appropriate to bill a low level E/M code? This patient does not want surgery but this is a recurring problem. Can the E/M be billed each time the patient is seen?”
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Coding

Not Your Average House Call

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“In the summer of 2021, when the delta variant was near its peak, I attempted a house call visit to review laboratory results and discuss treatment options. The family of the elderly patient did not want anyone in the house and recommended leaving the results and instructions at the front door. Lab results, my interpretation of the results, prescription and instructions were left at the front door as instructed. This, of course, required driving to the patient’s residence to accomplish this. How could this scenario be billed to Medicare?”
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Coding

Return to the Operating Room

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“A Medicare patient is admitted to the hospital for a foot infection and suspected osteomyelitis of the left, fourth toe. Amputation of the toe is done at the metatarsophalangeal level and billed CPT 28820-T3. However, post-operative x-rays reveal that there is residual bone, presumably from the base of the proximal phalanx that remains. The patient is taken back to surgery a few days later for removal of the residual bone. This was done during the same hospitalization. Would this be coded as CPT 28124-78? Would the -78 modifier not apply since there is no global for the amputation? Could CPT 28124 be billed without a modifier?”
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Coding

Medicare TPE Review

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“I received notice I am being selected for a TPE (targeted probe & education) review by Novitas Medicare. I practice in New Jersey. I have gone over the LCDs and the “educational” materials they sent. My documentation seems to be aligned with what they want. Any advice for working with them to have this resolved as soon as possible? Any things to avoid? Should I have someone other than myself act as a liaison between Medicare and me?”
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Coding

The Medicare Rules About Orthotics

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“Is there a foolproof way to deal with the “Medicare doesn’t cover orthotics” issue? Is there an article that explains to the irate patient on the difference between functional orthotics and diabetic insoles and what is covered by Medicare? In this scenario, we typically explain to the patient that orthotics for plantar fasciitis are not covered. We have them sign an ABN and we can easily send the L3000 into Medicare with the GY modifier. We can share this with the patient and they can see that it is not covered. However, what can we do when the patient calls Medicare themselves and are told that orthotics are covered?”
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