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93224-93226: Snag Extra Cash With These Tips

The catch is you have to make the request for your rightful dollars.

Here’s a piece of good news for you. As per the Medicare’s April update, three Holter monitor codes will get a slight boost in pay.

The change has an implementation date of April 4, 2011, and an effective date of Jan. 1, 2011. That means contractors have to be ready to comply with the change by April 4, but the change in practice expense relative value units (PE RVUs) is retroactive to Jan. 1 dates of service.

Medicare isn’t requiring contractors to search their files to adjust claims they have already paid (which is good news for any physician who reports a code seeing a fee decrease). But contractors do have to adjust claims if you bring them to their attention. Take a look at how many 93224-93227 services you provided from January to March to see if making the claim for the small increase in RVUs is worth your time.

93224: The PE RVUs for 93224 (External electrocardiographic recording up to 48 hours by continuous rhythm recording and storage; includes recording, scanning analysis with report, physician review and interpretation) will change from 2.30 to 2.53. That’s a difference of .23 RVUs. Multiply that by the 2011 conversion factor (33.9764), and you can expect roughly an additional $7.81 for this code. (Remember that geographic region will affect your fee, as well).

93225: For 93225 (…recording [includes connection, recording, and disconnection]), the PE RVUs only increase by .09, changing from 0.82 to 0.91. So the additional reimbursement should be roughly $3.06.

93226: You may see an additional $4.76 for 93226 (… scanning analysis with report). Its PE RVUs change from 1.21 to 1.35.

Swan-Ganz: If you ever report 93503 (Insertion and placement of flow directed catheter [e.g.,

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In 2013, Reporting Ureteral Stone Diagnoses Will Include More Options

Here is what you should check in your physician’s documentation.
As the conversion takes place from ICD-9 to ICD-10 in 2013, you will not be treating the codes in a way you always did. Often, you will have more options that may need tweaking the way …

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92082 or 92083? Choose The Most Appropriate Code with Expert Help

Even small ophthalmology practices are likely to have a Humphrey visual field analyzer, yet many ophthalmologists don’t know the secrets for securing adequate reimbursement for these services — and they even go so far as to put themselves at risk for costly audits due to lack of documentation.

CPT lists three different visual field examinations — and the higher the code, the higher the reimbursement.:

  • 92081 — Visual field examination, unilateral or bilateral, with interpretation and report; limited examination (e.g., tangent screen, Autoplot, arc perimeter or single stimulus level automated test, such as Octopus 3 or 7 equivalent)
  • 92082 — … intermediate examination (e.g., at least 2 isopters on Goldmann perimeter, or semiquantitative, automated suprathreshold screening program, Humphrey suprathreshold automatic diagnostic test, Octopus program 33)
  • 92083 — … extended examination (e.g., Goldmann visual fields with at least 3 isopters plotted and static determination within the central 30 degrees, or quantitative, automated threshold perimetry, Octopus program G-1, 32 or 42, Humphrey visual field analyzer full threshold programs 30-2, 24-2 or 30/60-2).

A common mistake ophthalmologists make is billing 92082 when they could legitimately bill 92083.

The key to choosing the correct VF code is in the code descriptors themselves. For example, if the ophthalmologist plots only two isopters on the Goldmann perimeter, CPT would call that “intermediate,” based on its description of 92082. If you plotted three isopters, however, that would be an “extended” examination that would qualify for 92083.

Rule of thumb: An intermediate test is one of the screening tests that you would use if you suspect neurological damage. But ophthalmologists use the threshold exam (92083) when they suspect something that causes a slow, progressive dimming of peripheral vision, like glaucoma. Glaucoma causes a loss of vision like a light bulb slowly becoming…

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Emergency Reporting: Know When To Use +99140 With These Tips

Reporting any qualifying circumstances (QC) codes for anesthesia can be tricky, but knowing when to classify a situation as a true emergency can be a real challenge unless you’re well-versed in the emergency conditions guidelines. Check coding definitions and your provider’s documentation to know whether you can legitimately add two extra units for +99140 (Anesthesia complicated by emergency conditions [specify] [List separately in addition to code for primary anesthesia procedure]) to your claim.

CPT includes a note with +99140 stating that “an emergency is defined as existing when delay in treatment of the patient would lead to a significant increase in the threat to life or body parts.” Your key to knowing a case meets emergency conditions lies in your anesthesiologist’s notes.

“Quite a number of cases come in where the anesthesiologist marks ‘emergency’ but many times the ‘emergency’ isn’t all that clear,” says Leslie Johnson, CCS-P, CPC, director of coding and education for Medi-Corp., Inc., of New Jersey. Documentation supporting an emergency will depend on each case, so read the chart thoroughly when your provider indicates an emergency.

Solution: Talk with your anesthesia providers to clarify what constitutes an emergency and when you can include +99140. If there’s a real reason to report an emergency (such as a ruptured appendix, 540.0), your physician should clearly document the reason. Another diagnosis code to indicate a problem (such as unstable angina, 411.1) could help show the payer you’re reporting an unusual situation. The second diagnosis can also help in an appeal if a payer that ordinarily recognizes +99140 denies the claim.

“An OB patient who comes in for a cesarean section isn’t automatically an emergency,” explains Scott Groudine, M.D., professor of anesthesiology at Albany Medical Center in New York. “However, a diagnosis of fetal distress and prolapsed cord virtually always…

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