Knowledge Base Article
OPPS Status Indicators and the July OPPS Updates
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OPPS Status Indicators and the July OPPS Updates
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
School is out for the summer and my youngest grandchild graduated from pre-school, where she learned her ABC’s. There is no summer break from learning in real life and if you work with Medicare outpatient claims, you have to learn your A, C, E1, E2, G, J1, etc. status indicators.
Each quarter, CMS issues an update for the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS). These updates sometimes include policy changes, but generally consist mainly of coding updates, such as new HCPCS codes and revised OPPS status indicator assignments. The status indicators (SI’s) describe how particular HCPCS codes and APCs are paid (or not paid) under OPPS, so it is important for providers to understand what the various status indicators mean. CMS provides a table of the definitions of the status indicators in Addendum D1 of the OPPS Final Rule each year – the 2019 addenda can be found here.
Below are descriptions of the status indicators that appear in the July 2019 OPPS Update.
SI “A” means the service is paid under a fee schedule or payment system other than OPPS. For example, you see this code in the tables below for laboratory services that are paid under the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS). Another common type of service with this SI is therapy services (PT, OT and SLP services).
SI “C” is an inpatient only procedure. These codes will not be paid when billed on an outpatient claim with limited exceptions. For inpatient only procedures, the patient should be admitted as an inpatient.
SI “E1” are services that are not covered for outpatients and will not be paid when submitted on an outpatient claim. They are services that are not an outpatient benefit, are statutorily excluded, or are not medically necessary for outpatients.
SI “E2” are not paid under OPPS because pricing information and claims data are not yet available.
SI “G” indicates drugs and biologicals that receive pass-through payment.
SI “J1” indicates the primary procedure of a comprehensive APC. The payment for all adjunctive services on the claim with the J1 service is packaged into the payment for the primary J1 service, with only a few exceptions.
SI “K” are drugs and biologicals eligible for separate payment under OPPS because they exceed the per day cost threshold for separately payable drugs.
SI “L” are for flu and pneumonia vaccines. They are paid at reasonable cost and are not subject to deductibles and co-insurance
SI “M” are services that are not billable to the MAC and are not paid under OPPS. Notice in the tables below that these services say “provided by physician” or “interpretation and report” meaning they are professional (physician or other qualified health care professional) services and not to be billed by the hospital.
SI “N” indicates services for which the payment for the service is packaged into the payment of other services. This means there is no separate payment made for this HCPCS code. Even though these services are not paid separately, it is important to report the codes so CMS can know all of the components of a primary service.
SI “Q1” is a conditionally packaged service which means the payment for this service is packaged in certain circumstances. Q1 services are packaged if they appear on the same claim with services with an SI of S, T, or V (visit). If the Q1 service does not meet packaging criteria (no S, T, or V code on the claim), it is separately paid. It defaults to the status indicator of its APC when paid separately.
SI “Q4” is for laboratory services with packaged payment. These lab services are only paid separately if they are the only type of services provided on the claim. Most clinical lab services have been conditionally packaged since 2014 and have this status indicator.
SI “S” are procedures and service paid under OPPS similar to SI “T” but to which a payment reduction for multiple procedures/services does not apply. All S services on a claim are paid at 100% of the OPPS payment rate.
SI “T” are procedures and services paid under OPPS but to which a reduction applies for multiple procedures. The first T procedure on a claim is paid at 100%, but subsequent T procedures on the same claim are paid at 50% of the OPPS payment rate.
Below are tables of the code additions and changes from the July 2019 OPPS Updates. All changes are effective July 1, 2019.
Table A includes some miscellaneous additions and changes such as a temporary new C-code, some status indicator changes, and the reassignment of a skin substitute. Notice the change of 0541T and 0542T from E1 (non-payable) due to FDA approval in March of the device associated with these codes – the codes are now S and M respectively, to reflect the technical payment to the hospital and the professional payment for the physician report.
Although payment for skin substitutes are packaged with an SI of N, a lower and higher payment for the application of the product is made due to the assignment of the skin substitute to the Low Cost Group or High Cost Group based on product cost. The reporting of different application HCPCS codes for the low and high cost groups drives the appropriate payment.
There were numerous new codes, including several for biosimilars, and some code replacements for drugs and biologicals as shown in Table B.
The American Medical Association (AMA) releases new Category III codes twice a year – in January and July to be effective the following July and January respectively. For the July 2019 update, CMS is implementing 20 CPT Category III codes that the AMA released in January 2019 for implementation on July 1, 2019.
Proprietary Laboratory Analyses (PLA) codes are CPT codes for labs or manufacturers to more specifically identify their test. Tests with PLA codes must be performed on human specimens and must be requested by the clinical laboratory or the manufacturer that offers the test. For July 1, 2019, one PLA code was deleted and 21 new codes were added.
School is never out in the real world, so study the Medicare OPPS status indicator alphabet to know if and how your hospital will be paid for outpatient services.
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.
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