The proposed 2013 Medicare physician fee schedule contains a 27% pay cut for the top 10 anesthesia codes. Moreover, CMS has released the 2013 OIG work plan stating that Medicare Part B claims will be reviewed closely to determine whether they were supported in accordance with Medicare requirements. Also, the use of modifier “AA” will be scrutinized for Medicare requirements. This should prompt anesthesia groups to re-evaluate certain anesthesia care team scenarios.
While the use of the AA modifier has been determined there are cases that occur in the anesthesia care team model that do warrant additional review. Clear cut billing guidelines do not exist for scenarios where a case starts as medically directed and ends as personally performed, or vice versa. These scenarios can present billing challenges as the existing modifiers of AA (personally performed by the MD), QK/QX (medical direction by the MD/medically directed CRNA) and QZ (services provided by a non-medically directed CRNA) do not fully describe these situations. In such cases, reimbursement is not impacted for groups that employ the CRNAs as the modifiers could affect the payment amount received by the physician group. Provider groups that encounter clinical scenarios which are not accurately described by the current modifiers available may consider seeking clarification from their MAC for clear guidance on appropriate billing procedures.
Lately, CPT 2013 updates have been making the rounds, but there were no new or deleted anesthesia codes. However, revisions have been made to 01991 and 01992 anesthesia billing codes with the description when block or injection is performed by a different physician or other qualified health care professional.
Also, the term “other qualified health care professional” has been included to stress on the fact that CPT does not limit code reporting to specific specialties or providers; instead, scope of practice laws, regulations, contracts, and hospital policy/bylaws determine whether a provider is qualified to perform a service. The individual is also required to be qualified to perform services and independently report it. Clinical staff who do not report their services independently do not fall within the scope of this definition provided by CPT.
ICD-9-CM codes are used in medical billing and coding to describe diseases, injuries, symptoms and conditions. 288.60 ICD-9 code is one of thousands of ICD-9-CM codes used in healthcare. Although ICD-9-CM and CPT codes are largely numeric, the only point of difference is that CPT describe medical procedures and services. 288.60 ICD-9 code is used to report Leukocytosis, unspecified and is a billable medical code that can be used to specify a diagnosis on a reimbursement claim.