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April 2021 Medicare Transmittals and Other Updates

Published on 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Medicare MLN Articles & Transmittals – Recurring Updates

Quarterly Update to the National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) Procedure-to-Procedure (PTP) Edits, Version 27.2, Effective July 1, 2021

  • Article Release Date: March 31, 2021
  • What You Need to Know: NCCI edits were developed to promote national correct coding methodologies and to control improper coding that leads to inappropriate payment in Part B claims. This article alerts providers about the quarterly updates to the NCCI PTP edits in Change Request (CR) 12226 effective July 1, 2021. CMS includes the following bolded statement in the CR, “the edits previously contained in the Mutually Exclusive edit file are NOT being deleted but are being moved to the Column One/Column Two Correct Coding edit file.”
  • MLN MM12226: link

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

  • Article Release Date: April 1, 2021
  • What You Need to Know: Billing instructions for various payment policies CMS made in the April 2021 ACS payment system update are referenced in this article.
  • MLN MM12183: link

Other Medicare MLN Articles&Transmittals

Updated to the Payment for Grandfathered Tribal Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) for Calendar Year (CY) 2021

  • Article Release Date: March 31, 2021
  • What You Need to Know: This article is for FQHCs billing MACs for services provided to Medicare patients.
  • MLN MM12202: link

Revised Medicare MLN Articles&Transmittals

Penalty for Delayed Request for Anticipated (RAP) Submission – Implementation

  • Article Release Date: July 31, 2020 – Most recent revision April 1, 2021
  • What You Need to Know: This is the third revision to the original July 31, 2020 MLN article. Information in the article is for Home Health Agencies (HHA) who bill MACs for services provided. The April 1, 2021 revision reflects the revised CR 11855. The revised CR changes the principal diagnosis code reporting instructions in Chapter 10, Section 40.1 and the service date reporting instructions in Chapter 10, Section 40.2 of the Medicare Claims Processing Manual. The changes make sure claims successfully match their corresponding RAP. Changes in the text of the document are in red print.
  • MLN MM11855: link

Common Working File (CWF) Edits for Medicare Telehealth Services and Manual Update

  • Article Release Date: March 18, 2021 – Revised April 6, 2021
  • What You Need to Know: This article reflects a revised Change Request CR 12068. The substance of the article did not change.
  • MLN MM12068: link

Medicare Coverage Updates

April 13, 2021: Final Decision Memo for AlloMap® Molecular Expression Testing for Detection of Reject of Cardiac Allografts

CMS indicates in the background section of this Decision Memo (link), that the “AlloMap is intended to give physicians information on the risk of acute cellular rejection in their patients following heart transplant.” CMS received a request in January of 2013 to non-cover this assay as the requester felt this particular assay “does not perform adequately,” has “poor sensitivity,” and “no intrinsic predictive capability.” A national coverage analysis was issued October 16, 2020. CMS received three comments. CMS did not issue a National Coverage Determination for this testing and notes in the Final Decision Memo that, “in the absence of an NCD, coverage determinations for AlloMap® Molecular Expression Testing for Detection of Rejection of Cardiac Allografts…will continue to be made by the local Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs).”

April 13, 2021: Final Decision Memo for Autologous Blood-Derived Products for Chronic Non-Healing Wounds

CMS indicates in this Decision Memo (link) that they “will cover autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for the treatment of chronic non-healing diabetic wounds under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (the Act) for a duration of 20 weeks, when prepared by devices whose FDA cleared indications include the management of exuding cutaneous wounds, such as diabetic ulcers. Coverage of autologous PRP for the treatment of chronic non-healing diabetic wounds beyond 20 weeks will be determined by local Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs). Coverage of autologous PRP for the treatment of all other chronic non-healing wounds will be determined by local Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act.”

April 13, 2021: National Coverage Analysis (NCA) Tracking Sheet for Transvenous (Catheter) Pulmonary Embolectomy

Currently, this procedure is non-covered. CMS internally generated this NCA reconsideration (link) based on stakeholder feedback and have had several requests for this NCD to be removed. The public comment period is from April 13, 2021 through May 13, 2021. The proposed decision memo due date is October 13, 2021.

Medicare Educational Resources

New MLN Booklet: How to Use the Medicaid National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) Tools

CMS has issued a new Medicare Learning Network booklet titled How to Use the Medicaid National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) Tools (link). This publication is aimed at helping providers learn to navigate the CMS Medicaid NCCI webpages, work with Medicaid Procedure-to-Procedure edits, and manually unlikely edits. CMS notes that the Medicare NCCI Program has significant differences from the Medicaid NCCI initiative and provides related links to the Medicaid NCCI Initiative and Medicare NCCI Program.

Revised MLN Booklet: Behavioral Health Integration Services

CMS has issued a revised version of the Behavioral Health Integration Services MLN Booklet (link) to add CY 2021 MPFS Final Rule CMS-1734-F Updates and add new HCPCS code G2214 (Initial or subsequent psychiatric collaborative care management, first 30 minutes in a month of behavioral health care manager activities, in consultation with a psychiatric consultant, and directed by the treating physician or other qualified health care professional).

CMS’ Diagnosis Coding: Using ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS Web-Based Training Courses Revised

CMS has updated their ICD-10-CM and PCS web-based training courses. These courses can help you learn how to identify structure and format, recognize features and find codes. You can access both revised courses on the CMS MLN Web-Based Training webpage at

Revised MLN Booklet: Medicare Billing: Form CMS-1450 and the 837 Institutional

In mid-April, CMS published a revised version of this MLN Booklet (link. In the revised version, CMS updated MSP information in the Medicare Claims Submission section of the booklet and added a new Where to Submit FFS Claims section.

Medicare Wellness Visits Educational Tool Revised

CMS noted in the April 22, 2021 edition of MLN Connects (link) that their Medicare Wellness Visit Education Tool has been revised. Providers can use this tool to learn about the annual wellness visit (AWV) and Initial preventive physical exam (IPPE).

Other Medicare Updates

April 8, 2021: CMS Issues FY 2022 Proposed Rules

In a Special Edition MLN Connects (link), CMS issued Proposed Rules for:

  • SNF Prospective Payment System: FY 2022 Proposed Rule
  • Hospice Payment Rate Update for FY 2022,
  • IRF Prospective Payment System: FY 2022 Proposed Rule, and
  • IPF: Proposed Medicare Payment&Quality Reporting Updates.

Links to each proposed rule and a related Fact Sheet are available in this announcement. CMS is accepting comments on all four proposed rules until June 7, 2021.

Article Author: Beth Cobb, RN, BSN, ACM, CCDS
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 Protection Assessment Tool.

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.