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July 2022 Monthly Medicare Updates

Published on 

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Medicare MLN Articles & Transmittals

Change to the Laboratory National Coverage Determination (NCD) Edit Software for October 2022
  • MLN Release Date: June 24, 2022
  • What You Need to Know: CMS advises you to make sure your billing staff know about changes to the Laboratory NCD Edit Module for October 2022 and how to access the NCD spreadsheet that lists relevant changes.
  • MLN MM12803: (link)
One-Time Notification: New Edit for PPS Outpatient and Inpatient Bill Types Receiving Outlier Payment When Device Credit is Reported
  • Transmittal Release Date: July 7, 2022
  • What You Need to Know: A new edit is being implemented to provide MACs with a way to review the charges and device reduction amount submitted on claims for fully or partially credited devices. Effective January 1, 2023, CMS will suspend outpatient and inpatient prospective payment claims getting an outlier payment when a device credit is reported. This will allow the MACs to review the charges and device reduction amounts for fully and partially credited devices.
  • Transmittal 11488 (Change Request 12769): (link)

Coverage Updates

July 6, 2022: Cochlear Implantation Proposed Decision Memo (CAG-00107R)

CMS released a Proposed Decision Memo regarding the National Coverage Determination for Cochlear Implantation (50.3) (link). Among other things, CMS is proposing to expand coverage by broadening the patient criteria and removing the requirement that for individuals with hearing test scores of > 40 % and ≤ 60 %. The public comment period ends August 5, 2022.

July 8, 2022: Home Use of Oxygen Final Decision Memo

Per the Final Decision Memo (link), “Effective July 8, 2022, the MAC may determine reasonable and necessary coverage of oxygen therapy and oxygen equipment in the home for patients who are not described in section B or precluded by section C of this NCD. Initial coverage for patients with other conditions may be limited to the shorter of 90 days or the number of days included in the practitioner prescription at MAC discretion. Oxygen coverage may be renewed if deemed medically necessary by the MAC.”

Compliance Updates

Implanted Spinal Neurostimulators: Document Medical Records

In a recent report, the OIG found that Medicare improperly paid claims for implanted spinal neurostimulators when providers did not provide sufficient documentation supporting medical necessity. You will find a link to the OIG report and helpful resources in the Thursday July 21, 2022, edition of their MLN Connects e-newsletter (">link).

COVID-19 Updates

Coding Long COVID

CMS offered the following advice regarding coding Long COVID in the Thursday July 7, 2022, edition of MLN Connects (link):

  • For a post COVID-19 condition, unspecified, like Long COVID, use code DX U09.9. Add other codes for conditions related to the COVID-19 infection, like R50.9 for fever.
  • For a current COVID-19 infection, use code DX U07.1. Do not use code DX U09.9.
  • For a current COVID-19 infection and conditions from a previous COVID-19 infection, use code U09.9 with code DX U07.1. Add other codes for conditions related to the COVID-19 infection, like R06.02 for shortness of breath.
  • For more information, see pages 30-31 of ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting: Fiscal Year 2022 (PDF).
July 13, 2022: CDC Releases Resistant Infections Special Report

The CDC released a report (link) detailing the negative effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on recent years of progress in the United States combating antimicrobial resistance (AR). In a related announcement, the CDC noted the report “concludes that the threat of antimicrobial-resistant infections is not only still present but has gotten worse – with resistant hospital-onset infections and deaths both increasing at least 15% during the first year of the pandemic.”

July 15, 2022: COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Renewed

CMS waited until late Friday, July 15th to post an extension of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) (link). This extends the PHE for ninety days.

Other Updates

July 7, 2022: Special Edition MLN Connects – Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule release

CCMS announced the release of the CY 2023 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule in a special edition of their MLN Connects e-newsletter (link). You will find links to related fact sheets and the proposed rule in the newsletter. Comments are due to CMS by September 7, 2022.

July 7, 2022: Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) Penalty Phase Delayed Again

CMS as posted the following notice on the AUC Program webpage (link), “The payment penalty phase will not begin January 1, 2023 even if the PHE for COVID-19 ends in 2022. Until further notice, the educational and operations testing period will continue. CMS is unable to forecast when the payment penalty phase will begin.”

July 16, 2022: New Nationwide 988 Crisis Hotline

HHS announced in a July 15th Press Release (link), the transition from the 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to 988 “an easy-to-remember three-digit number for 24/7 crisis care…The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a network of more than 200 state and local call centers supported by HHS through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).”

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.