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Z Codes for Skin Melanoma
Published on Jul 14, 2021
20210714
 | Coding 
 | FAQ 
Did you know?

Previously, there were only three ICD-10-CM codes to identify personal history of carcinoma in-situ. These sites only included the breast, cervix uteri, and other site. Effective October 1, 2019, six new codes were created for personal history of in-situ neoplasms (Z86.002 – Z86.007). Two of these sites are listed below:

  • Melanoma (Z86.006) (Personal history of melanoma in-situ)
  • Skin (Z86.007) (Personal history on in-situ neoplasm of skin)
Why Should I Care?

ICD-10-CM codes are used for numerous occasions, i.e., accurate payments, quality management, data statistics, public health reporting, etc. The more accurate and specific codes are reported, the more accurate and specific data outcomes will be.

What Should I Do?

Report the new codes, if the documentation describes more specific sites, to allow for more specific coding and reporting of personal history of carcinoma in-situ sites.

References Coding Clinic for ICD-10-CM/PCS, Fourth Quarter 2019: Page 19

Susie James

Coding Outpatient Surgery without the Pathology Report
Published on Jul 14, 2021
20210714
Question

Is it appropriate for hospitals to code and submit an outpatient surgery claim before the pathology report is available? At our hospital we do a lot of skin excisions, but we code the record and bill the claim before we have the pathology report. Therefore, there are times when the malignant skin cancers are not reported on the claim since we do not know about it at the time of coding.

Answer

Yes, it is appropriate / allowed for hospitals to code and submit a claim before the pathology report is available to the coder for review. It is up to the individual hospital to determine this process. For additional discussion, refer to Coding Clinic, 1st quarter 2017, page 15.

Jeffery Gordon

FAQ: Coding NIHSS Scores
Published on Jun 09, 2021
20210609
 | FAQ 
Question:

What is the significance of coding the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale Scores (NIHSS) that were implemented in 2017?

Answer

The NIHSS is a neurological exam that is scored on all acute stroke patients. The provider or clinician will calculate and document the score. The coder is to assign R29.7—based on the score or scores.

Score Description
0 No Stroke
1-4 Minor Stroke
5-15 Moderate Stroke
16-20 Moderate/Severe Stroke
21-24 Severe Stroke

CMS has been gathering claims data on strokes from July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2021 which will be publically reported in FY 2022. For FY 2023 the data will start affecting hospital reimbursement as part of the 30-Day Stroke Mortality Measure. Hospitals should report the first NIHSS, which is typically documented after arrival to the hospital along with the appropriate stroke code. You may report additional NIHSS codes and use the POA indicator No for those additional codes.

In a recent Wednesday@One article (link) and related Infographic, RTMD’s claims data revealed only 40.1% of the claims included an NIHSS code. The reason the reporting of the NIHSS codes is so low may be due to the wording of the coding guideline. The guideline states, codes R29.7—may be used in conjunction with the stroke codes, so many hospitals are opting not to code them.

The main point of this article is to make sure you always report a NIHSS code with an acute stroke code and that they appear on the claim. Omitting the R29.7- code will adversely impact your hospital’s future reimbursement.

References:
Coding Clinic, Fourth Quarter 2016, page 61
NIHSS Stroke Scale, ICD-10-CM Coding Guidelines

Anita Meyers

Coding Cataract Extraction
Published on Jun 09, 2021
20210609
 | FAQ 
Question:

During cataract extraction, the physician sometimes injects an antibiotic into a part of the eye anatomy. Can we code the injection procedure(s) in addition to the cataract extraction CPT code?

Answer

No, do not code the eye injection in addition to the CPT code for the cataract extraction. This applies to the injection of an antibiotic as well as steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs Specific examples of injections not separately reportable with the cataract extraction code include: anterior chamber, intravitreal, retrobulbar, Tenon’s capsule, and subconjunctival.

Reference: National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) Policy Manual, chapter VIII, page 18.

Jeffery Gordon

Coding CT Abdomen and Pelvis Without and With Contrast on the Same Date of Service
Published on May 19, 2021
20210519
 | FAQ 
Question:

A patient came to the ER and a CT of the abdomen and pelvis without contrast (CPT code 74176) was performed. While the patient was still in the ER, the patient went back to CT a second time and a CT abdomen and pelvis with contrast was performed, in other words – two separate scans. Can CPT codes 74176 and 74177 be billed together on the same date of service, and if so, is a modifier needed? Or do we have to report only one CPT code 74178 (CT abdomen and pelvis with and without contrast)?

Answer

If the payer uses Medicare’s National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) edits, you can bill CPT codes 74176 and 74177 on the same date of service. A modifier is needed to indicate the scans were separate and distinct from each other, i.e., two separate scans. Depending on the payer, use modifier 59 or XU.

When a patient has only one visit to the CT department for CT abdomen and pelvis with and without contrast as a single study, you must bill CPT code 74178. In this scenario, it would be inappropriate to bill CPT codes 74176 and 74177 with a modifier as this would constitute unbundling.

Jeffery Gordon

Are All Formulations/Brands of Imitrex Considered to be a Self-Administered Drug?
Published on May 12, 2021
20210512
 | FAQ 
Question:

You mentioned in last week’s Wednesday@One outpatient FAQ (link) that Palmetto GBA considers the drug ‘Imitrex’ to be a self-administered drug. Does that apply only to the Imitrex brand, or does it also apply to the other Imitrex formulations / brands?

Answer

All formulations of Imitrex would be considered a self-administered drug under Palmetto. Take a look at Palmetto’s self-administered drug list link and in the Imitrex section, you will see other names of Imitrex listed, which include:

  • Imitrex Statdose Pen
  • Zembrace Sym touch
  • Alsuma
  • Sumavel DosePro

Although not listed, this should also include the drug Tosymra, which is another brand name for Imitrex.

Jeffery Gordon

Imitrex, Is It a Self-Administered Drug?
Published on May 05, 2021
20210505
 | FAQ 
Question:

We have another question about self-administered drugs based on prior outpatient FAQs for Lovenox and insulin. (Click for the Lovenox article and for the insulin article.) Is the drug ‘Imitrex’ a self-administered drug for Medicare? Usually, we see this given to patients in the ER who present with migraine type headaches.

Answer

For Palmetto, the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for Jurisdictions J and M, Imitrex is a self-administered drug when given by subcutaneous route. For Medicare, you would NEVER report a subcutaneous injection (CPT code 96372) for Imitrex. If you are under the jurisdiction of a different MAC, check their respective self-administered drug list as the drugs can vary from one MAC to the next.

Here is a link to Palmetto’s self admin drug list. It is a very handy reference to see which injectable drugs are considered self-administered drugs at least – for hospitals under the jurisdiction of Palmetto GBA.

Local Coverage Article for Self-Administered Drug Exclusion List

Jeffery Gordon

Administering Insulin in the Hospital Outpatient Setting, Is It a Self-Administered Drug?
Published on Apr 28, 2021
20210428
 | FAQ 
Question:

As a follow-up to last week’s question about Lovenox, (link) we have the same question regarding insulin: We have NOT been charging for insulin administration given in any form (ex. IM, Infusion), but should we?

Answer

Palmetto, GBA considers Insulin to be a self-administered drug when given by subcutaneous route. For Medicare, you would NEVER report a subcutaneous injection for insulin (CPT code 96372). Palmetto says if you give insulin by a different route, it is appropriate to report the administration CPT code, such as IM or IV.

Cahaba, GBA the prior Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for Jurisdiction J, had told Provider that insulin is a self-administered drug regardless of the route. The Palmetto policy is not as strict as Cahaba’s.

Again, here is a link to Palmetto’s self-administered drug list, which includes discussion about drugs on the list given by other than subcutaneous route.
Local Coverage Article for Self-Administered Drug Exclusion List

Remember, insulin is sometimes documented using other names, and it is easy to miss these drugs if you are not familiar with some of the brand names. If you need a reminder, review the Wednesday@One article at the link below from September 2018 which lists some of the more common insulin names and types.

Do You Know When to Code Z79.4?
https://www.mmplusinc.com/kb-articles/do-you-know-when-to-code-z79-4

Jeffery Gordon

Administering Lovenox in the Hospital Outpatient Setting, Is It a Self-Administered Drug?
Published on Apr 21, 2021
20210421
 | FAQ 
Question:

Is Lovenox in the outpatient setting a self-administered drug for Medicare? Can we charge for the administration?

Answer

For Palmetto GBA, the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for Jurisdictions J and M, Lovenox is NOT a self-administered drug, so you can charge for the subcutaneous / intramuscular injection, CPT code 96372. If you are under the jurisdiction of a different MAC, check their self-administered drug list as the drugs can vary from one MAC to the next.

Here is a link to Palmetto’s self-administered drug list. It lists all of the injectable drugs they consider to be self-administered: Local Coverage Article for Self-Administered Drug Exclusion List (cms.gov)

Jeffery Gordon

Coding Multiple Rib Fractures due to CPR
Published on Apr 07, 2021
20210407
 | FAQ 

Question:

What is the code for multiple rib fractures due to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)?

 

Answer:

Assign Other Intraoperative and Postprocedural Complications and Disorders of the Musculoskeletal System (M96.89). Also, use Other Medical Procedures as the Cause of Abnormal Reaction of the Patient, or of Later Complication without Mention of Misadventure at the Time of the Procedure to identify the external cause the injury.

 

Fractures of the ribs are sometimes seen following CPR. Elderly patients with Osteoporosis are at increased for this type of injury.

 

References:        

·        Coding Clinic response to a submitted question.

·        First Quarter 2021, page 5-6

Anita Meyers

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