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February 2021 MAC Talk

Published on 

Monday, February 15, 2021

Spotlight: Cigna Updates Authorization Policy for CTA and FFR-CT Analysis

The Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) announced in a January 29, 2021 Press Release that effective February 1, 2021, Cigna no longer requires pre-authorization for Computed Tomography Angiogram (CTA) of the heart, coronary arteries and bypass grafts with contrast material, including 3D imaging post-processing.

Cigna also removed pre-authorization, effective February 1, 2021, for Fractional Flow Reserve-Computed Tomography (FFR-CT).

Dustin Thomas, MD, FSCCT, Chair, Advocacy Committee, SCCT indicated in the Press Release that “the favorable policy update shows that Cigna recognized the use of CTA and FFR-CT as front-line test which can lead to improved patient outcomes.”


The Local Scene


January 25, 2021: CMS Fact Sheet: MAC COVID-19 Test Pricing

CMS notes that “Local Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) are responsible for developing the payment amount for claims they receive for newly created HCPCS codes in their respective jurisdictions until Medicare establishes national payment rates.” Included in this Fact Sheet is a table of newly created COVID-19 Test HCPCS codes and the payment amounts for each of the twelve MAC jurisdictions.


January 27, 2021: NGS JK Article: Beneficiaries with Medicare Advantage must Provide Medicare Information to Receive COVID-19 Vaccination

In this NGS News and Alerts article, they discuss the problem Providers are facing in obtaining information needed to bill traditional Medicare when a patient has received the COVID-19 vaccine. They advise that “the provider should inform the beneficiary with MA coverage that the services to be rendered on that DOS must be billed to traditional Medicare. Health care providers who furnish monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 and/or administer a COVID-19 vaccine to a patient enrolled with a MA plan should submit such claims to your traditional Medicare contractor, not the MA plan. Please note that when the provider did not pay for the vaccine then they may only bill Traditional Medicare for the administration.

If the beneficiary with MA refuses to provide their traditional Medicare insurance information for billing purposes, then the provider should inform the patient that their refusal to cooperate so that Medicare can be billed will result in that beneficiary becoming liable for the service(s). If your Medicare patient doesn’t want to give the SSN, tell your patient to log into to get the MBI.”


February 5, 2021: Novitas JH/JL Notice: New Local Coverage Determinations (LCDs) Effective March 21, 2021

Novitas issued a notice informing providers about the following new LCDs and related billing and coding articles that will become effective March 21, 2021. It is noteworthy that two of the LCDs in the announcement are for procedures that are part of the CMS Hospital Outpatient Prior Authorization Program that began July 1, 2020 (Blepharoplasty and Botulinum Toxins).

The following response to comments articles contain summaries of all comments received and Novitas’ responses:


February 4, 2021: First Coast JN - LCD and Article Updates

First Coast has posted new LCDs and related Billing and Coding Articles also effective on March 21, 2021. Similar to Novitas, two of the new LCDs are for procedures that are part of the Hospital Outpatient Prior Authorization Program.

The following Response to Comments Articles contain summaries of all comments received and First Coast’s responses:


February 4, 2021 Daily Newsletter Palmetto GBA JJ/JM OPD PA Alert!
Palmetto GBA posted the following Alert regarding the hospital Outpatient Department Prior Authorization Program prior authorization requests:

“OPD PAs cannot be sent retroactively, they must be submitted prior to the beneficiary receiving the service. Please review the FAQ on the CMS website.”


February 8, 2021: WPS J5/J8 Article – New CERT Contractor Update

WPS shared in an article that “The Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) contractor has a new website for provider information and resources. Providers can access the new website, the C3HUB at”


February 12, 2021: First Coast JN Article: Billing Condition Code (CC) 90 and 91

In this article, First Coast reminds providers that CMS issued MLN Matters® (MM) 12049  to implement two new condition codes (CCs):

  • 90 – To allow providers to report when the service is provided as part of an Expanded Access approval
  • 91 – To allow providers to report when the service is provided as part of an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)

They go on to note that while this MLN article was released on November 20, 2020, the implementation date for these codes is February 22, 2021 with an effective date for claims received on or after February 1, 2021.

“First Coast loaded the new CCs on February 10. This means the new codes were not in the Fiscal Intermediary Standard System (FISS) until February 10. Any claims submitted before February 10, with these new condition codes, were rejected prior to entering FISS.

Provider action

If you submitted claims before February 10, with either CC 90 or 91 and received a rejection, you can resubmit the claim.”

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.