Tag Archives: Speech Language Hearing Association
The Correct Coding Initiative (CCI) came down hard on practitioners who perform vestibular testing earlier this year, but a new correction, effective Oct. 1, should ease the restrictions and help the otolaryngology, neurology, and audiology practices that report these services.
The problem: CCI edits currently restrict practices from reporting 92541, 92542, 92544, and 92545 individually if three or less of the tests are performed, notes Debbie Abel, Au.D., director of reimbursement and practice compliance with the American Academy of Audiology.
The solution: Starting October 1, 2010, “if two or three of these codes are reported for the same date of service by the same provider for the same beneficiary, an NCCI-associated modifier may be utilized to bypass the NCCI edits,” CMS wrote in a decision to alter the edits.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has requested “clarification regarding the correct NCCI-modifier to use when reporting the codes to Medicare,” noted Lemmietta G. McNeilly, PhD, CCC-SLP, CAE, chief staff officer of Speech-Language Pathology with ASHA, in a July 29 announcement.
Look for Changes to Vestibular Testing Descriptors
The root of the CCI problem began when the 2010 CPT manual was published, including new code 92540 (Basic vestibular evaluation …) and the subsequent codes following it, which make up the individual components of 92540. “The clarification that resulted in the NCCI edits being lifted should be included in upcoming versions of the manual,” Abel tells Part B Insider.
According to the AMA’s Errata page, code descriptors should read as follows, effective Oct. 1:
- 92540 — Basic vestibular evaluation, includes spontaneous nystagmus test with eccentric gaze fixation nystagmus, with recording, positional nystagmus test, minimum of 4 positions, with recording, optokinetic nystagmus test, bidirectional foveal and peripheral stimulation, with recording, and
Question: Our office is weighing the pros and cons of transitioning to electronic medical records (EMRs). We know the process is a huge undertaking that often results in even lower productivity and more confusion. So, is making the change really worth it?
Answer: If you haven’t witnessed or lead a conversion from paper records to an electronic medical record (EMR) system, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the potential downsides. But experts agree that yes, going electronic is worth it. Here are a few reasons why:
1. You Open More Cash Inlets. Many research studies pull their data via electronic records. So, if you can’t tune in to participate, opportunities for cash perks will fly by. “Grant money and incentive programs are available, for example, and they want data in the electronic form,” points out Francine Wheelock, PT, MPA, manager of clinical systems for MaineGeneral Health.
Just look at nationwide push for value-based purchasing and outcome data, and expect to go electronic if you want to be in the loop.
Stay alert: Last year, the federal government launched the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which plans to pay eligible healthcare professionals incentives for the “meaningful use” of certain EMRs.
“SLPs, OTs and PTs are not eligible for the incentive payment,” confirms Kate Romanow, director of health care regulatory advocacy for the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. But they may be eligible in the future, so therapists “may want to consider implementing EHRs now,” she says.
Plus, you can enhance coordination of care with healthcare providers who are eligible for HITECH incentives and are adopting EHRs, points out Sarah Nicholls, assistant director for payment policy and advocacy for the American Physical Therapy Association….