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December 2021 Medicare Transmittals and Coverage Updates

Published on 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Medicare MLN Articles & Transmittals – Recurring Updates

Reduced Payment for Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Services Furnished in Whole or In Part by a Physical Therapy Assistant or an Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Article Release Date: November 30, 2021
  • What You Need to Know: This article provides information regarding payments reductions for services provides by PTAs and OTAs effective January 1, 2022.
  • MLN MM12397:(link)
Update to Medicare Deductible, Coinsurance and Premium Rates for Calendar Year (CY) 2022
  • Article Release Date: December 1, 2021
  • What You Need to Know: You will find information about Calendar Year (CY) 2022 Medicare rates, Part A and B deductibles and coinsurance rates, and Part A and B premium rates in this article.
  • MLN MM12507:(link)
Calendar Year 2022 Update for Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Fee Schedule
  • Article Release Date: December 2, 2021
  • What You Need to Know: This article includes information about the CY 2022 update to the DMEPOS fee schedule.
  • MLN MM12521:(link)
Calendar Year 2022 Update of the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS)
  • Article Release Date: December 13, 2021
  • What You Need to Know: You will learn about new COVID-19 CPT vaccine and administration codes, OPPS 2022 updates and new drugs, biologicals and radiopharmaceuticals.
  • MLN MM12552: (link)
Calendar Year 2022 Annual Update for Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule and Laboratory Services Subject to Reasonable Charge Payment
  • Article Release Date: December 13, 2021
  • What You Need to Know: You will learn about instructions for the 2022 CLFS, mapping for new codes and updates for lab costs subject to the reasonable charge payment.
  • MLN MM12558:(link)

Revised Medicare MLN Articles & Transmittals

Summary of Policies in the CY 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Final Rule, Telehealth Originating Site Facility Fee Payments Amount and Telehealth Services List, CT Modifier Reduction List, and Preventive Services List
  • Article Release Date: Initial article November 17, 2021– Revised December 3, 2021
  • What You Need to Know: Language added to this article shows that the originating site facility fee does not apply to Medicare telehealth services when the originating site is the patient’s home. Also, for mental telehealth services, CMS shows that there must be a non-telehealth service every 12 months (instead of 6 months) after initiating telehealth.
  • MLN MM12519:(link)

Medicare Educational Resources

CMS MLN Fact Sheet: Ordering External Breast Prostheses & Supplies

CMS had not updated this Fact Sheet (link)) since 2018. Substantive changes are in dark red font which includes almost all the information in the document and as such, CMS encourages providers to read the entire infographic.

CMS MLN Fact Sheet: Checking Medicare Eligibility

This Fact Sheet (link)) was updated in October. Changes in the document includes:

  • Getting Preventive Services eligibility dates (page 4), and
  • Hiring billing agency, clearinghouse, or software vendor (page 4).
CMS MLN Booklet Revised: Independent Diagnostic Testing Facility (IDTF)

CMS has revised this MLN booklet and noted in the December 9, 2021 edition of MLN Connects (link)) that this was done to delete incorrect information that didn’t apply to supervising diagnostic tests performed in IDTFs. They also noted that “the COVID-19 public health emergency supervision flexibility (PDF) only applies to certain nonphysician practitioners; it didn’t change the diagnostic tests supervision requirements under the IDTF regulations.”

Other Updates

December 3, 2021: New HHS Telehealth Utilization Study and Medicare Telemedicine Snapshot

An HHS Press Release (link) highlights findings from a New HHS study that showed a 63-fold increase in Medicare telehealth utilization during the pandemic.

The Press Release also highlights a new CMS snapshot (link) that currently highlights findings from Medicare beneficiary (Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicare Advantage (MA)) telemedicine claims between March 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021 that were received by September 9, 2021. CMS notes that in response to COVID-19, telemedicine services were expanded to increase access to care including:

  • Lifting of geographic area restrictions with services allowed to be delivered in the patients’ home, allowing for both new and established patients,
  • Expanding eligible services and the types of providers, and
  • Allowing for a select set of audio-only telehealth services.

Telemedicine users during the March to February time in 2019 totaled 910,490 vs a pandemic total of 28,255,180. This volume represents 53% of Medicare users.

December 8, 2021: CMS Special Open-Door Forum: Provider Requirements Under the No Surprises Act

CMS held a Special Open-Door Forum (SODF) to explain provider requirements under the No Surprises Act. CMS noted in the announcement that “Starting January 1, 2022, consumers will have new billing protections when getting emergency care, non-emergency care from out-of-network providers at in-network facilities, and air ambulance services from out-of-network providers. These requirements generally apply to items and services provided to people enrolled in group health plans, group or individual health insurance coverage, Federal Employees Health Benefits plans, and the uninsured.

These requirements don’t apply to people with coverage through programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Indian Health Services, Veterans Affairs Health Care, or TRICARE that have other protections against high medical bills.”

Included in the SODF notice was a link to the SODF Presentation (link) and the No Surprises Act CMS webpage (link).

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.