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CMS staffers confirmed this week that MACs can determine whether they’ll allow licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) to perform annual wellness visits (AWVs) and collect from Medicare for those services. That’s the word from a Feb. 22 CMS Open Door Forum, where providers called in with several questions affecting Part B providers.
One caller phoned into the forum to ask about a Q&A posted on the Web site of WPS Medicare, a Part B payer in four states, which asks whether an RN or LPN can perform “the entire annual wellness visit (AWV, G0438-G0439).” WPS responds on the site, “Yes, an RN or LPN can perform the visit. They need to be under the direct supervision of a physician and the state license needs to allow for them to do all the ocmpoennts of the service.” (http://www.wpsmedicare.com/part_b/education/awv-faq.shtml). The caller asked whether this is a general CMS policy or if it only applies to WPS Medicare.
“Remember, the LPN’s not billing,” said CMS’s William Rogers, MD, reminding the caller that the visit would be billed under the physician’s NPI as “incident to.” But the caller still considered it “odd” that an LPN could perform an AWV, since it’s similar to an E/M service.
“It’s a different sort of service – there’s not really any clinical judgment involved,” Rogers said. “It’s a service which includes a lot of sort of administrative steps, verifying that people have certain preventive services done and things like that, and so it is intended to be a collaborative service.”
Keep in mind that CMS does not have a national policy allowing LPNs and RNs to perform AWVs, but reps from the agency confirmed that it’s within the rights of the individual MACs to make this determination.
For more on this story,…
Stop worrying if your claims were denied, you still hold a chance as many carriers are reprocessing.
Almost a year ago, practices were told that Medicare will cover an annual wellness visit (AWV) for Part B beneficiaries effective Jan. 1 and last month, CMS announced the new codes for the AWVs. Everything seemed to look perfect until came the time for claims submissions and came the denials along with it.
The MACs may have hit a few speedbumps while processing the first of the AWV claims, but are attempting to get their systems rolling smoothly as January closes out for codes G0438 (Annual wellness visit, initial) and G0439 (Annual wellness visit, subsequent). We give you answers to several questions — straight from the MACs themselves — which may help you ensure that your claims go through smoothly.
Which Diagnosis Code Should You Use?
Several subscribers have told the Insider that they submitted their AWV claims using ICD-9 code V70.0 (Routine general medical examination at a health care facility), but faced immediate denials due to MACs claiming that this is the wrong diagnosis code.
It appears that those denials were the result of a computer glitch that made the AWV codes non-payable when billed with V70.0, but some payers have already fixed this problem.
National Government Services, a Part B payer in four states, sent out a notification on Jan. 25 stating that they “omitted the editing for diagnosis code V70.0 that is allowable with HCPCS codes G0438 and G0439, and claims that were initially denied are being reprocessed.
Pinnacle Business Solutions, a Part B MAC in two states, ran a notification on its Web site on Jan. 21 stating that a system error in the claims processing system incorrectly denied claims for G0438-G0439 between Jan. 1 and Jan 20. “A…
87 percent error rate leads to drastic measures.
If you think CMS is only watching your E/M codes when it comes to the office or hospital, think again. One MAC recently reviewed nursing facility care claims and was stunned at the findings.
NGS Medicare, a Part B payer in four states, announced on Jan. 26 that it [...]
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