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CY 2023 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment Systems Final Rule Highlights
Published on 

11/16/2022

20221116
 | Coding 
 | Billing 

The CMS released the Calendar Year (CY) 2023 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System Final Rule on November 1, 2022. Following are highlights from the final rule:

CY 2023 OPPS and ASC Payment Rates

CMS is updating the CY 2023 OPPS and ASC payment rate by 3.8%.

  • The estimated total payments to OPPS providers in CY 2023 would be approximately $86.5 billion, an increase of approximately $6.5 billion compared to CY 2022 OPPS payments.
  • The estimated total payments to ASCs for CY 2023 will be approximately $5.3 billion, an increase of approximately $230 million compared to CY 2022 ASC payments.
Comprehensive Ambulatory Payment Categories (C-APCs) for CY 2023

C-APCs were first implemented on January 1, 2015. A C-APC is defined as “a classification for the provision of a primary service and all adjunctive services provided to support the delivery of the primary service.”

CMS expanded the C-APC methodology in 2016 to include a “Comprehensive Observation Services” C-APC (C-APC 8011). The payment rate for C-APC 8011 in CY 2023 is $2,439.02.

For CY 2023, CMS finalized one new C-APC, C-APC 5372 (Level 2 Urology and Related Services).

For the duration of the COVID-19 PHE, any new FDA approved drug or biological approved for emergency use authorization (EUA) to treat COVID-19 that is authorized for use in the outpatient setting, or not limited to use in the inpatient setting, will be separately paid and will not package into the C-APC when provided on the same claim as the primary C-APC service.

Rural Emergency Hospital (REH)

REH is a new Medicare Provider type that includes facilities who elect to convert either from a critical access hospital (CAH) or a rural hospital with less than fifty beds to an REH. Policies for this new provider type will take effect January 1, 2023.

By statute REH services include emergency department services and observation care. Specific to observation care, CMS notes “there may be instanced in which REH patients receive observation services at an REH for a period exceeding 24 hours, but REHs are not required to provide required notification under the NOTICE Act, known as the Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice (MOON), because REHs are excluded from the definition of “hospital.”

An REH can also elect to provide other outpatient medical and health services furnished on an outpatient basis. CMS finalized the proposal that REHs may provide outpatient services not otherwise paid under the OPPS (i.e., services paid under the Clinical Lab Fee Schedule, post-hospital extended care services in a distinct part unit licensed as a skilled nursing facility).

REHs will receive a monthly facility payment of $272,866. This payment will increase in subsequent years by the hospital market basket percentage increase.

340B-Acquired Drugs

“CMS notes in the final rule that “for CY 2023, in light of the Supreme Court decision in American Hospital Association v. Becerra, 142 S. Ct. 1896 (2022), we are applying the default rate, generally average sales price (ASP) plus 6 percent, to 340B acquired drugs and biologicals in this final rule with comment period for CY 2023 and removing the increase to the conversion factor that was made in CY 2018 to implement the 340B policy in a budget neutral manner.

We are still evaluating how to apply the Supreme Court’s decision to prior calendar years. In the CY 2023 OPPS/ASC proposed rule, we solicited public comments on the best way to craft any potential remedies affecting cost years 2018-2022, and we will take these comments into consideration for separate rulemaking that will be published in advance of the CY 2024 OPPS/ASC proposed rule.”

Reminder, for 2022 claims prior to September 28th, providers will need to submit adjustment claims to recalculate their payments (link).

Medicare Inpatient Only (IPO) List

For CY 2023, CMS is removing 11 services and adding 8 newly created CPT codes to the IPO List. Table 65 of the final rule includes all services to be removed or added to the IPO list.

ASC Covered Procedure Lists

Procedures on the ASC Covered Procedure List (CPL) are surgical procedures that are appropriately performed on an inpatient basis in a hospital but that can also be safely performed in an ASC, a CAH, or an HOPD. Four procedures are being added to this list and can be found in table 80 of the final rule.

Hospital Outpatient Department Prior Authorization Process: New Service Category

Effective for dates of service on or after July 1, 2023, Facet joint interventions will be added to the list of service categories that hospital outpatient departments will be required to get prior authorization to receive payment. Specific Facet Joint CPT codes that will require prior authorization are listed in Table 103 of the final rule.

Outpatient Non-PHP Mental Health Services Furnished Remotely by Hospital Staff to Beneficiaries in Their Homes

CMS finalized its proposal to consider mental health services furnished remotely by hospital staff using communication technology to a beneficiary in his or her home a covered outpatient department service.

An in-person service will be required within 6 months prior to the initiation of remote service and then every 12 months thereafter, exceptions may be made to this requirement based on a beneficiary’s clinical needs and the reason being documented in the medical record. The in-person requirement will not apply to beneficiaries who began receiving mental health telehealth services during the PHE or during the 151-day period after the end of the PHE.

Audio-only interactive telecommunications systems may be used when a beneficiary is not capable of, or does not consent to, the use of two-way, audio/video technology.

Resources

CY 2023 OPPS Final Rule CMS Press Release: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/hhs-continues-biden-harris-administration-progress-promoting-health-equity-rural-care-access-through

CY 2023 OPPS Final Rule Fact Sheet: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/cy-2023-medicare-hospital-outpatient-prospective-payment-system-and-ambulatory-surgical-center-2

Beth Cobb

November 2022 PAR PRO Tip: Facet Joint Injections to Require Prior Authorization July 1, 2023
Published on 

11/16/2022

20221116
 | Coding 
 | Billing 

MMP’s Protection Assessment Report (P.A.R.) combines current Medicare Fee-for-Service review targets (i.e., MAC, RAC, OIG) with hospital specific paid claims data made possible through a collaboration with RealTime Medicare Data (RTMD). Monthly, our newsletter spotlights current review activities. This month we focus on the new service to be added to the Prior Authorization for Certain Hospital Outpatient (OPD) Services effective July 1, 2023.

Did You Know?

CMS implemented the Prior Authorization for Certain Hospital Outpatient Department (OPD) Services through the Calendar Year (CY) 2020 Outpatient Prospective Payment System/Ambulatory Surgical Center (OPPS/ASC) Final Rule (CMS-1717-FC).

Initially, effective July 1, 2020 blepharoplasty, botulinum toxin injections, panniculectomy, rhinoplasty and vein ablation required a prior authorization when performed in the hospital OPD. For claims on or after July 1, 2021, implanted spinal neurostimulators and cervical fusion with disc removal were added to the list.

New for 2023, CMS finalized the addition of facet joint interventions requiring prior authorization for claims on or after July 1, 2023. This service category includes facet joint injections, medial branch blocks, and facet joint nerve destruction. A list of the specific CPT codes that will require prior authorization are listed in Table 103 of the CY 2023 OPPS/ASC Final Rule (CMS-1772-FC).

Why it Matters?

Reviewing facet joint records has been a target by several different entities.

Medicare Administrative Contractors

Noridian Jurisdiction E (JE) Part B MAC has conducted a Targeted and Probe and Educate (TPE) review of CPT 64635 (Destruction by Neurolytic Agent, Paravertebral Facet Joint Nerve). Dates of service reviewed were January 2020 through March 2020. The claims error rate was 75% with the top denial reasons being:

  • Failure to return records,
  • Documentation does not support the medical necessity as listed in the Coverage Requirement, and
  • Duplicate billing.

Noridian indicated in their review results that “Local Coverage Determination L34993 provides an overview of the coverage requirements for these services. Documentation must support the history of pain which has not been responsive to conservative measures. Documentation must also support the conservative measures that have been tried and failed. The LCD also further clarifies that documentation must support a clinical assessment which supports that the pain is a result of the facet joint and that there is no other pathology that may be causing the pain.

Documentation must reflect the patient pre and post procedure pain rating, procedure report, and the injectate used is within the LCD requirements.”

Other Part B MACs that have reviewed or are currently reviewing facet joint injections include Novitas JH and JL and WPS J8.

Office of Inspector General (OIG)

CMS notes in the OPPS/ASC final rule that the OIG has published multiple reports indicating questionable billing practices, improper Medicare payments, and questionable utilization of facet joint interventions. Based on their findings, the OIG recommended that CMS and its contractors provide additional oversight on claims for facet joint injections to prevent additional improper payments.

Supplemental Medical Review Contractor

Just last month on October 10th, the Supplemental Medical Review Contractor (SMRC) posted their review findings of Project 01-304: facet joint injections. The October 2020 OIG report was referenced in the review results. Claims reviewed included hospital outpatient and critical access hospitals with dates of service in CY 2019. The claims error rate was 92% and common denial reasons included:

  • Documentation submitted was insufficient or incomplete,
  • Documentation submitted did not support medical necessity as listed in National and Local Coverage Determinations, and
  • No response to the documentation request by the provider.
What Can I Do?

You can begin to prepare for the July 1, 2023 addition of Facet joint procedures to the Prior Authorization for Certain Hospital OPD Services now by:

  • Identifying applicable Medicare Coverage Documents (Local Coverage Determinations (LCDs) and Local Billing and Coding Articles (LCAs)), and
  • Ensuring key stakeholders are aware of the need for prior authorization effective July 1, 2023 (i.e., Outpatient Department Nurse Manager, Scheduling, Physicians performing these procedures) and educate them on applicable documentation requirements found in the LCDs and LCAs.

COVID-19 Updated Booster Vaccines for Eligible Children Ages 5–11
Published on 

11/9/2022

20221109

CMS recently published the following information about expanding the use of (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccines and new bivalent vaccine CPT codes in the Thursday, October 27, 2022 edition of MLN Connects (link).

The CDC recently expanded the use of updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 5 through 11 years. This followed the FDA’s authorization of updated COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech for children ages 5 through 11 years and from Moderna for children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 years. People with Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage, private insurance coverage, or no health coverage can get COVID-19 vaccines, including the updated Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines, at no cost, for as long as the federal government continues purchasing and distributing these COVID-19 vaccines.

CMS issued 4 new CPT codes effective October 12, 2022:

Code 91314 for Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent Product:

  • Long descriptor: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, mRNA-LNP, spike protein, bivalent, preservative free, 25 mcg/0.25 mL dosage, for intramuscular use
  • Short descriptor: SARSCOV2 VAC BVL 25MCG/.25ML

Code 91315 for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent Product:

  • Long descriptor: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, mRNA-LNP, bivalent spike protein, preservative free, 10 mcg/0.2 mL dosage, diluent reconstituted, tris-sucrose formulation, for intramuscular use
  • Short descriptor: SARSCOV2 VAC BVL 10MCG/0.2ML

Code 0144A for Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent - Administration – Booster Dose:

  • Long descriptor: Immunization administration by intramuscular injection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, mRNA-LNP, spike protein, bivalent, preservative free, 25 mcg/0.25 mL dosage, booster dose
  • Short descriptor: ADM SRSCV2 BVL 25MCG/.25ML B

Code 0154A for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent - Administration – Booster Dose:

  • Long descriptor: Immunization administration by intramuscular injection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, mRNA-LNP, bivalent spike protein, preservative free, 10 mcg/0.2 mL dosage, diluent reconstituted, tris-sucrose formulation, booster dose
  • Short descriptor: ADM SARSCV2 BVL 10MCG/.2ML B

Visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Toolkit (link) for more information, and get the most current list of billing codes, payment allowances, and effective dates (link).

See the full news alert (link)

Source: Thursday October 27, 2022 MLN Connects: https://www.cms.gov/outreach-and-educationoutreachffsprovpartprogprovider-partnership-email-archive/2022-10-27-mlnc

Beth Cobb

Diabetic Nephropathy with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
Published on 

11/9/2022

20221109
 | FAQ 

Question

What is the code assignment for a patient with Type 2 DM with Nephropathy and CKD?

Answer

Assign only one code, Type 2 DM with CKD (E11.22) because CKD is more specific than nephropathy per advice found in Coding Clinic, 3rd Quarter 2019, page 3.

References

Coding Clinic, 3rd Quarter 2019, page 3

Anita Meyers

United States District Court for the District of Columbia Vacates Differential Payment Rate for 340B-Acquired Drugs: Provider Action Required
Published on 

11/9/2022

20221109

Did You Know?

On September 28, 2022, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia vacated (link) the previously applied differential payment rates for 340B-acquired drugs in the Calendar Year (CY) 2022 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) final rule.

Why it Matters?

As a result of this of this ruling, CMS will revert to paying the default rate (generally ASP plus 6%) under the Medicare status for 340B-acquired drugs.

CMS noted in the Thursday, October 13, 2022 edition of MLN Connects (link) that “CMS is uploading revised OPP drug files that will apply the default rate (generally ASP plus 6%) to 340B-acquired drugs for the rest of the year. CMS also will reprocess claims our contractors paid on or after September 28, 2022, using the default rate.”

What Can You Do?

To receive payments for claims prior to September 28, 2022, providers will need to submit adjustment claims to recalculate their payments. Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) nationwide have posted information about this issue on their websites. For example, Noridian JF, the MAC for Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming has posted the following information in their October 27, 2022 daily email (link):

Provider/Supplier Action Required:

“Although MACs shall not reprocess 2022 date of service claims prior to 09/28/22 as contractor-initiated adjustments, MACs shall process provider-submitted adjustments to 2022 date of service claims that were paid prior to September 28, 2022. The adjustments can be submitted using type of bill (TOB) XX7 with condition code D9 and remarks indicating “340B adjustment”.

MACs to Reprocess IPPS Claims for Low-Volume Hospitals and Participants of the Medicare Dependent Hospital (MDH) Program
Published on 

11/2/2022

20221102

Did You Know?

Division D, Sections 101 and 102 of the Continuing Appropriations and Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023 has extended the temporary low-volume hospital payment adjustment and Medicare Dependent Hospital (MDH) Program that were set to end October 1, 2022.

Why it Matters?

CMS released MLN Matters Article MM12970 (link) on October 21, 2022. This article details information about the above-mentioned Act that extends the temporary changes through December 16, 2022.

What Can You Do?

Per CMS, provider actions needed includes:

  • Sending a written request to your MAC by November 16 to get the applicable low-volume hospital payment adjustment, and
  • Read this MLN article and related transmittal to determine if you are eligible for continued MDH status.

Beth Cobb

Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Published on 

11/2/2022

20221102

Did you Know?

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and annually the American Cancer Society has designated the third Thursday of November as the Great American Smokeout®.

Why it Matters?

The American Cancer Society indicates that this event is important because “about 34 million American adults still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. Smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths.”

What Can You do About It?

For health care providers, know what resources are available for your patients.

Counseling to Prevent Tobacco Use

This service falls in the benefit category of additional preventive services and National Coverage Determination (NCD 210.4.1) Counseling to Prevent Tobacco Abuse details the covered indications for this service. Specifically, CMS covers this service for outpatient and hospitalized patients with Medicare Part B who meet the following criteria:

  • The patient uses tobacco, regardless of whether they exhibit signs and symptoms of tobacco-related disease,
  • The patient is competent and alert when counseling is delivered, and
  • The counseling is provided by a qualified physician or other Medicare-recognized practitioner.
Counseling Frequency

Medicare covers two cessation attempts per year and each attempt may include a maximum of four intermediate or intensive sessions, with the patient getting up to eight sessions per year. There is no copayment, coinsurance, or deductible for the patient.

Lung Cancer Screening with Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) (NCD 210.14)

Lung Cancer Screening also falls in the benefit category of additional preventive services. Screening is covered for patients with Medicare Part B who meet all the following categories:

  • The patient is 50 – 77 years of age,
  • The patient is asymptomatic,
  • The patient has a smoking history of at least 20 pack-years (1 pack-year = smoking 1 pack per day for 1 year, 1 pack + 20 cigarettes),
  • Is a current smoker or quit smoking within the last fifteen years, and
  • The physician orders the lung cancer screening with LDCT.
Screening Frequency

Medicare will cover this service annually. Of note, before the first lung cancer LDCT screening, the physician must counsel the patient as a shared decision-making visit. Like counseling to prevent tobacco use, the patient has no copayment, coinsurance, or deductible.

Resource:

CMS MLN Educational Tool Medicare Preventive Services (link)

Beth Cobb

October 2022 Compliance Education, COVID-19, and Other Updates
Published on 

10/26/2022

20221026

Compliance Education Updates

MLN Educational Tool: Medicare Preventive Services

This MLN tool (link) was updated in September. Updates include pneumococcal shot resources, thirteen new bone mass measurement codes and three new hepatitis B screening codes.

MLN Educational Tool: Medicare Payment Systems

This MLN tool (link) was also updated in September to include updates for FY 2023 for:

  • The Acute Care Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS),
  • The Hospice Payment System,
  • The Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Prospective Payment System (IPF PPS),
  • The Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Prospective Payment System (IRF PPS),
  • The Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System (LTCH PPS), and
  • The Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System (SNF PPS).
MLN Booklet: Chronic Care Management Services

This Booklet (link) has been updated. Substantive content changes are in dark red font and includes:

  • Beginning 2022, Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) can bill Chronic Care Management (CCM) and Transitional Care Management (TCM) services for the same patient during the same period,
  • In 2021 CMS added five codes to report staff-provided Principal Care Management (PCM) services under physician supervision, and
  • Beginning 2022 CMS replaced G2058 with 99439.

COVID-19 Updates

October 13, 2022: Update to COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers

This CMS document (link) was updated on October 13th. The waiver related to the Director of Food and Nutrition Services was terminated on 10/1/2022 per the FY 2023 SNF Prospective Payment System Final Rule (1765-F).

Other Updates

September 23, 2022 Award of Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) Contract for Jurisdiction M

On September 23rd, Palmetto GBA, the incumbent MAC for Jurisdiction M (JM) was again awarded the contract for the administration of Medicare Part A and Part B Fee-for-Service claims in the states of North and South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. The claims volume in JM equates to more than $26.4 billion in Medicare benefit payments annually. Palmetto GBA will provide Medicare services to more than three hundred hospitals, approximately 75,000 physicians, and 3.2 million beneficiaries.

CMS Implements Temporary Increase in Payment under Medicare for Qualifying Biosimilars

Section 11403 of the Inflation Reduction Act provides for a temporary increase in the add-on payment for qualifying biosimilars from the current ASP plus an add-on of 6% of the reference biological product’s ASP to ASP plus 8% for a 5-year period. CMS noted in the Thursday, October 6th edition of MLN Matters (link) that “the goal of the temporary add-on payment for providers is to increase access to biosimilars, as well as to encourage competition between biosimilars and reference biological products, which may, over time, lower drug costs and lead to savings to beneficiaries and Medicare.”

If you are interested in learning more about biosimilars, there are two FDA resources:

  • FDA Biological Product Definition Fact Sheet (link), and
  • A Curriculum Materials for Health Care Degree Programs / Biosimilars (link). The “FDA’s curriculum materials are intended to help educate students in health care professional degree programs, for medicine, nursing, physician assistants, and pharmacy, as well as practicing professionals, to improve understanding of biosimilar and interchangeable biosimilar products and the regulatory approval pathway in the United States.”
CMS Request for Information (RFI): Developing a National Directory of Health Care Providers and Services

On October 7, 2022, CMS published an RFI in the Federal Register (link) seeking comments on the establishment of a National Directory of Healthcare Providers & Services (NDH). CMS believes an NDH would serve multiple purposes for the end user, for example:

  • Helping patients locate providers that meet their individual needs and preferences, and
  • A modern NDH “should enable healthcare providers, payers, and others involved in patient care to identify one another’s digital contact information also referred to as digital endpoints, for interoperable electronic data exchange.”

On October 7, 2022, CMS published an RFI in the Federal Register (link) seeking comments on the establishment of a National Directory of Healthcare Providers & Services (NDH). CMS believes an NDH would serve multiple purposes for the end user, for example:

    Beth Cobb

    October 2022 Monthly Medicare Transmittals, MLN Articles & Coverage Update
    Published on 

    10/26/2022

    20221026

    Medicare MLN Articles & Transmittals

    Inpatient Prospective Payment System Hospitals in the 9th Circuit: Updated Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020 Supplemental Security Income Medicare Beneficiary Data
    • MLN Release Date: September 29, 2022
    • What You Need to Know: Data for the Ninth Circuit’s jurisdiction has been updated based on Supreme Court decision in Azar v. Empire Health Foundation. This includes hospitals in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Data for all other hospitals is unchanged.
    • MLN MM12906: (link)
    New Fiscal Intermediary Shared System Edit to Validate Attending Provider NPI
    • MLN Release Date: October 6, 2022
    • What You Need to Know: Make sure your billing staff knows about a new consistency edit that validates the attending provider NPI and that organizational NPIs cannot be used in place of individual NPIs, unless exception conditions are met.
    • MLN MM12889: (link)
    Medicare Deductible, Coinsurance & Premium Rates: Calendar Year 2023 Update
    • MLN Release Date: October 13, 2022
    • What You Need to Know: CMS advises to make sure your billing staff know about the calendar year 2023 rate changes. I would also encourage you to make sure your case management and social services staff are aware of this information too.
    • MLN MM12903: (link)

    Revised Medicare MLN Articles & Transmittals

    Changes to Beneficiary Coinsurance for Additional Procedures Furnished During the Same Clinical Encounter As Certain Colorectal Cancer Screening Tests
    • MLN Release Date: April 29, 2022 – Revised September 29, 2022
    • What You Need to Know: The article was revised to add the Other Amount Indicator “B2” for co-insurance reduction amount to the claim, modify edits that affects the co-insurance reduction amount, and report the applied coinsurance amounts in the c-insurance field.
    • MLN MM12656: (link)
    International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) and Other Coding Revisions to National Coverage Determinations (NCDs)-January 2023 Update – 2 of 2
    • MLN Release Date: August 12, 2022 – Revised October 5, 2022
    • What You Need to Know: This article was revised to reflect a revised Change Request (CR) 12842. The update for NCD 150.3 (Bone Mineral Density Studies) was removed due to ICD-10 diagnosis codes that were added in error and restore ICD-10 diagnosis C91.92 that was removed in error to NCD 110.23 (Stem Cell Transplantation).
    • MLN MM12842: (link)
    October 2022 Update of the Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System
    • Transmittal Release Date: Transmittal 11610 released September 23, 2022 is being rescinded and replaced by Transmittal 11661 dated October 23, 2022
    • What You Need to Know: This transmittal has been updated to add HCPCS J1952 to table 2, attachment A, and correct the associated number of new codes identified in the policy section B.3.a from 10 to 11.
    • Transmittal 11661: (link)

    Coverage Updates

    Cochlear Implantation Final Decision Memo (CAG-00107R)

    On September 26, 2022, CMS published a final decision memo (link) for NCD 50.3 Cochlear Implantation. CMS has concluded there is sufficient evidence for cochlear implantation be “be covered for treatment of bilateral pre- or post-linguistic, sensorineural, moderate-to-profound hearing loss in individuals who demonstrate limited benefit from amplification. Limited benefit from amplification is defined by test scores of less than or equal to 60% correct in the best-aided listening condition on recorded tests of open-set sentence cognition.” Patient’s must also meet specific criteria detailed in the Decision Memo.

    Beth Cobb

    Happy New (Financial) Year 2023
    Published on 

    10/19/2022

    20221019

    MMP has been sending out the Wednesday@One since 2012. Over the past decade, I have often shared with our readers my love of fall. Fall means the return of college football, front yards filled with inflatable pumpkins and ghosts, and this year I am seeing the addition of exceptionally large decorative black spiders crawling up the outside walls of homes and strings of glowing witch hats lighting front porches.

    Even with pots of chili still to be cooked and caramel apples still to be consumed, it is never too early to prepare for the New Year. Along with the October 1st start of the CMS 2023 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) Fiscal Year, this article highlights recent news to help you prepare for the coming year.

    2023 Dollar Amount in Controversy Required for Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Hearing or Federal District Court Review

    The fifth level of appeal for Medicare Fee-for-Service appeals is an ALJ hearing or Federal District Court review. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA), requires an annual reevaluation of the dollar amount in controversy (AIC) required to advance to this level of appeal.

    On September 30, 2022, the annual adjustment that will be effective on January 1, 2023 was published in the Federal Register (link). The calendar year (CY) 2023 AIC threshold amounts are:

    • ALJ hearing requests filed on or after January 1, 2023 remains the same as CY 2022 at $180.
    • Federal District Court requests filed on or after January 1, 2023 will increase from the CY 2022 amount of $1,760 to $1,850.

    You can learn more about the appeal process in the CMS MLN Booklet Medicare Parts A & B Appeals Process (link).

    Inflation Reduction Act

    President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law on August 16, 2022. On October 5th, CMS released a Fact Sheet (link) where CMS notes that “this law means millions of Americans across all 50 states, the United States territories, and the District of Columbia will save money from meaningful benefits.” Insulin cost sharing is one of the benefits that will start in 2023 and includes:

    • Starting January 1, 2023, people enrolled in a Medicare prescription drug plan will not pay more than $35 for a month’s supply of each insulin that they take and is covered by their Medicare prescription drug plan and dispensed at a pharmacy or through a mail-order pharmacy. Also, Part D deductibles will not apply to the covered insulin product.
    • Starting July 1, 2023, people with traditional Medicare who take insulin through a traditional pump will not pay more than $35 for a month’s supply of insulin, and the deductible will not apply to the insulin. This will apply to people using pumps covered through the durable medical equipment benefit under Part B.

    COVID-19 PHE Extended

    The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, renewed the COVID-19 public health emergency this past Thursday, October 13th (link). As a reminder, PHE declarations last for the duration of the emergency or 90 days and may be extended by the Secretary. Ninety days from October 13th will be January 11th, 2023. Specific to the COVID-19 PHE, HHS has indicated that they will provide a 60-day notice prior to the termination of the COVID-19 PHE. Sixty days prior to January 11, 2023 is Saturday, November 12th, 2022.

    Social Security Benefits in 2023

    In an October 13th Press Release (link), the Social Security Administration announced that “approximately 70 million Americans will see a 8.7% increase in their Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments in 2023. On average, Social Security benefits will increase by more than $140 per month starting in January.”

    Calendar Year 2023 Medicare Deductible, Coinsurance & Payment Rates

    Since writing about the updated Medicare deductible, coinsurance and payment rates in last week’s newsletter (link), CMS has published MLN Matters article MM12903 (link) which includes background information regarding a Medicare beneficiary’s “spell of illness” and Medicare coverage in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) as well as the 2023 payment rate changes.

    As we wait for the release of the CY 2023 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) Final Rule, the 2022 CERT Report, and the possible notification of the end of the COVID-19 PHE, I wish all our readers a happy fall y’all.

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