How to Negotiate your Physician Group or Individual Provider's Contract with the Insurance Payers
Many physician groups or even individual solo practice offices are not happy with their contracted rates or the way they are being reimbursed by the insurance payers? Is it time to negotiate? when is the best time to negotiate your contract?
There is no better time than NOW!
But there are important steps that you need to do before doing so. Negotiating your contract is not only by picking up the phone and calling the insurance payer's provider services department and asking them that you would like to negotiate your contracted fees. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way!
But there are important steps that you need to do before doing so. Negotiating your contract is not only by picking up the phone and calling the insurance payer's provider services department. It doesn't work that way!
Here are my tips: How to Negotiate your Physician Group or Individual Provider's Contract with the Insurance Payers
You need to present your reasoning why you think its time to negotiate your fees!
All of the above, you can present it to the Insurance Payer through the Network Area Manager. Put them all together. Document everything! You can initiate the process by calling, and then by sending a formal letter of intent to renegotiate your contract rates or fee schedule.
Don't forget to involve your billers and coders in this project! Let your patients leave feedback, reviews and about their experience in your practice! All these will surely help get you a better deal.
It's a bit of a process but just be patient and work on it.
Do you need help on how to Negotiate your Physician Group or Individual Provider's Contract with the Insurance Payers?
You should contact us today!
Understanding the Genicular Nerves (image below)
Do you remember the struggle when we didn't have the specific code for the Genicular Nerve Knee Block and for the ablation or the RFA? Prior to January 1, 2020, we used to code them using 64450 for the Peripheral Nerve Block and the you used the 64640 for the Ablation. Not only that, you need to know the nerves that were blocked or were RFA'ed.
But Effective January 1, 2020, we have now a specific code for the Genicular Nerve Knee Block and the Genicular Nerve Knee Ablation. You can read more about that change in our blog. CLICK HERE.
CPT 64454 Genicular Nerve Block
Injection(s), anesthetic agent(s) and/or steroid; genicular nerve branches, including imaging guidance, when performed
CPT 64624 Genicular Nerve Ablation or RFA
Destruction by neurolytic agent, genicular nerve branches including imaging guidance, when performed
Unfortunately many of our Pain and Orthopedic Physicians are still struggling getting reimbursed for these services even though we already have these specific codes in place since 2020. And why is that?
There are common issues why:
1) Their billing staff are still using the old codes CPT 64450, CPT 64640 instead of the CPT Code 64454 and 64624 for the Genicular Nerve Block and Radiofrequency Ablation;
2) What I found is that, this is considered as Investigational and Experimental based on the following guideline when being reported:
Genicular nerve blocks and genicular nerve ablation are considered investigational and not medically necessary for the treatment of chronic knee pain, including but not limited to any of the following:
But I have also read that there are two CMS Contractors who covers for this procedure based on Medical Necessity. See Group 1 Diagnosis Codes Cross Over:
Group 1 DX Codes:
Read more about guidelines:
National Government Services Inc Billing and Coding: Peripheral Nerve Blocks (A57452)
First Coast Service Options, Inc Billing and Coding: Peripheral Nerve Blocks (A57788)
More Guidelines from Payers which consider the procedure to be Investigational:
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
How do you handle Denial and Appeal for Genicular Nerve Ablation or Genicular Nerve Block?
Here are my tips:
Avoid the denials in the first place! by knowing your payers' guidelines;
If the Provider says its Medically Necessary for the patient to receive the genicular nerve block or genicular nerve ablation, try getting a Predetermination based on Medical Necessity from your Payer! They will not allow you to submit Prior Authorization because for sure, it does not need Prior Authorization because its not a covered benefit based on their policy because the payer considers it "investigational" or "experimental"; Insist on reviewing Predetermination based on Medical Necessity instead!
Already having denied claims? - pursue the claims by sending appeals, get your patient get involved with the appeals process. Be prepared with your medical documentation! How's the Patient's Pain Relief? Duration of Pain Relief? Improved ADL? - include that all in your documentation!
Searched Keywords: GENICULAR NERVE BLOCK DENIAL AND APPEAL CPT BILLING CODE 64454
HOW TO GET PAID FOR GENICULAR NERVE KNEE INJECTIONS
Need help how to Appeal your claims? Contact Us today!
Need help how to obtain Pre-determination before you render the Genicular Nerve Block to your patients? You should contact us today!
NEW CPT Code 99072 and CPT Code 86413 DURING COVID19 PANDEMIC
These 2 new CPT Codes 99072 and 86413 were published on September 8th 2020 and are effective immediately.
Let's describe these 2 new CPT Codes.
CPT Code 99072 Additional supplies, materials, and clinical staff time over and above those usually included in an office visit or other non-facility service(s), when performed during a Public Health Emergency as defined by law, due to respiratory-transmitted infectious disease
Take Note: This new code 99072 is reported only during a PHE (Public Health Emergency) and only for additional items required to support a safe in-person provision of evaluation, treatment, or procedural service(s).
CPT Code 86413 Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) antibody, quantitative
According to the AMA:
"The first addition, CPT code 99072, was approved in response to sweeping measures adopted by medical practices and health care organizations to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), while safely providing patients with access to high-quality care during in-person interactions with health care professionals. The additional supplies and clinical staff time to perform safety protocols described by code 99072 allow for the provision of evaluation, treatment or procedural services during a public health emergency in a setting where extra precautions are taken to ensure the safety of patients as well as health care professionals. The AMA/Specialty Society RVS Update Committee (RUC) worked with 50 national medical specialty societies and other organizations over the summer to collect data on the costs of maintaining safe medical offices during the public health emergency and submitted recommendations today to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to inform payment of code 99072."
"The second addition, CPT code 86413, was approved in response to the development of laboratory tests that provide quantitative measurements of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, as opposed to a qualitative assessment (positive/negative) of SAR-CoV-2 antibodies provided by laboratory tests reported by other CPT codes. By measuring antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the tests reported by 86413 can investigate a person’s adaptive immune response to the virus and help access the effectiveness of treatments used against the infection."
Must be reported only once per in-person! (read more below)
Code 99072 is to be reported only once per in-person patient encounter per provider identification number (PIN), regardless of the number of services rendered at that encounter. In the instance in which the noted clinical staff activities are performed by a physician or other qualified health care professional (eg, in practice environments without clinical staff or a shortage of available staff), the activity requirements of this code would be considered as having been met; however, the time spent should not be counted in any other time-based visit or service reported during the same encounter.
CPT Guidelines, Q&A from the American Medical Association:
Understanding PHE or Public Health Emergency in coordination with CPT Code 99072
Question: Code 99072 is stated as being applicable “during a PHE.” What information should be used to verify when a PHE is in effect?
Answer: A PHE is in effect when declared by law by the officially designated relevant public health authority(ies).
Understanding Patient Encounters Type for the determination of CPT Code 99072
Question: For what type of patient encounters or services should code 99072 be reported?
Answer: Code 99072 may be reported with an in-person patient encounter for an office visit or other non-facility service, in which the implemented guidelines related to mitigating the transmission of the respiratory disease for which the PHE was declared are required. Use of this code is not dependent on a specific patient diagnosis. For a list of POS codes with facility/non-facility designations that are available in the Medicare Claims Processing Manual, visit https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coding/place-of-service-codes.
Understanding Documentation Requirements when reporting CPT Code 99072
Question: What documentation is required to report code 99072?
Answer: Given that code 99072 may only be reported during a PHE, one would not report this code in conjunction with an evaluation and management (E/M) service or procedure when a PHE is not in effect. Therefore, code 99072 is reported justifiably only when health and safety conditions applicable to a PHE require the type of supplies and additional clinical staff time explained in the code descriptor.
Documentation requirements may vary among third-party payers and insurers; therefore, they should be contacted to determine their specifications.
How about CPT Code 99072 with CPT Code 99070?
Question: May code 99072 be reported with code 99070?
Answer: Yes, code 99072 may be reported with code 99070 when the requirements for both codes have been met. Note that eligibility for payment, as well as coverage policy, is determined by each individual insurer or third-party payer.
Reader's QUESTION - how much are you going to be reimbursed for these 2 new codes?
Reference sources: https://www.ama-assn.org/press-center/press-releases/ama-announces-new-cpt-codes-covid-19-advancements-expand
CPT Assistant September 2020 Special Addition
CPT is a trademark and owned by the American Medical Association.
One of our blog readers asked why their claim for Trigger Point injection is being denied due to missing modifier.
Let's describe these 2 Trigger point injection codes:
20552 Injection(s); single or multiple trigger point(s), 1 or 2 muscle(s)
20553 Injection(s); single or multiple trigger point(s), 3 or more muscles
Widely indicated for Myofascial Pain.
Key point to remember! - these 2 CPT Codes 20552, 20553 DO NOT NEED A MODIFIER!
Denial Reasons for Trigger Point Injection CPT 20553
Denials Reasons for Trigger Point Injection CPT 20552, 20553 and what you should be looking for:
Need more help? Call us at 732-982-4800 today!
January 1, 2020 - we now have a new Pain Management Code CPT 64625 - SI Ablation
Description of CPT Code 64625
Radiofrequency ablation, nerves innervating the sacroiliac joint, with imaging guidance (Fluoroscopic or Computed Tomography).
Keypoints to REMEMBER!
Need help? Contact our office today!
Let's decribe this code: CPT 76140 Consultation on x-ray examination made elsewhere, written report. (2D reformatting is no longer separately reported. To report 3D rendering, see 76376, 76377)
Sharing to you coding clarification here. (Source are from CPT Assistant as published by the AMA). CPT is a trademark and owned by the American Medical Association.
CPT Assistant October 1997
Using CPT Code 76140
76140 Consultation on x-ray examination made elsewhere, written report. You would use this code when a physician's opinion or advice regarding a specific film is requested by another physician and upon examination of the film, the consulting physician renders his or her consultation (ie, or his/her opinion or advice) to the requesting physician in the form of a written report.
If a patient presents to an office for a new patient visit and brings to the physician his or her medical records, including x-rays, you should not report code 76140. Although the x-rays may have been taken elsewhere, the physician does not perform a consultation as intended by code 76140. Rather, the review or re-read of the x-rays would be considered part of the face-to-face E/M service provided to the patient. Again, the E/M codes include work done before, during, or after the E/M visit. Review of x-rays is part of the E/M service. Remember, 76140 represents a consultation, in which a physician only renders an opinion or gives advice regarding the film in the form of a written report. In general, when reporting 76140, the physician is not concurrently providing an E/M face-to-face service to the patient.
READER'S QUESTION: Does Medicare Cover Radiofrequency Ablation for Pain Management in New York?
Here's the Coverage Information from Medicare Part B
General Procedure Requirements:
Diagnostic Facet Joint Injections
Thermal Medial Branch Radiofrequency Neurotomy (includes RF and microwave technologies):
Limitations of Coverage:
A maximum of five (5) facet joint injection sessions inclusive of medial branch blocks, intraarticular injections, facet cyst rupture and RF ablations may be performed per year in the cervical/thoracic spine and five (5) in the lumbar spine.
Let's describe the CPT codes 64633-64636
CPT CODE 64633 DESTRUCTION BY NEUROLYTIC AGENT, PARAVERTEBRAL FACET JOINT NERVE(S), WITH IMAGING GUIDANCE (FLUOROSCOPY OR CT); CERVICAL OR THORACIC, SINGLE FACET JOINT
CPT CODE +64634 DESTRUCTION BY NEUROLYTIC AGENT, PARAVERTEBRAL FACET JOINT NERVE(S), WITH IMAGING GUIDANCE (FLUOROSCOPY OR CT); CERVICAL OR THORACIC, EACH ADDITIONAL FACET JOINT (LIST SEPARATELY IN ADDITION TO CODE FOR PRIMARY PROCEDURE)
CPT CODE 64635 DESTRUCTION BY NEUROLYTIC AGENT, PARAVERTEBRAL FACET JOINT NERVE(S), WITH IMAGING GUIDANCE (FLUOROSCOPY OR CT); LUMBAR OR SACRAL, SINGLE FACET JOINT
CPT CODE +64636 DESTRUCTION BY NEUROLYTIC AGENT, PARAVERTEBRAL FACET JOINT NERVE(S), WITH IMAGING GUIDANCE (FLUOROSCOPY OR CT); LUMBAR OR SACRAL, EACH ADDITIONAL FACET JOINT (LIST SEPARATELY IN ADDITION TO CODE FOR PRIMARY PROCEDURE)
Source reference: LCD ID L35936 Facet Joint Injections, Medial Branch Blocks, and Facet Joint Radiofrequency Neurotomy NGS Medicare Part B
National Government Services, Inc. MAC - Part A 06101 - MAC A J - 06 Illinois
National Government Services, Inc. MAC - Part B 06102 - MAC B J - 06 Illinois
National Government Services, Inc. MAC - Part A 06201 - MAC A J - 06 Minnesota
National Government Services, Inc. MAC - Part B 06202 - MAC B J - 06 Minnesota
National Government Services, Inc. MAC - Part A 06301 - MAC A J - 06 Wisconsin
National Government Services, Inc. MAC - Part B 06302 - MAC B J - 06 Wisconsin
National Government Services, Inc. A and B and HHH MAC 13101 - MAC A J - K Connecticut
National Government Services, Inc. A and B and HHH MAC 13102 - MAC B J - K Connecticut
National Government Services, Inc. A and B and HHH MAC 13201 - MAC A J - K New York - Entire State
National Government Services, Inc. A and B and HHH MAC 13202 - MAC B J - K New York - Downstate
National Government Services, Inc. A and B and HHH MAC 13282 - MAC B J - K New York - Upstate
National Government Services, Inc. A and B and HHH MAC 13292 - MAC B J - K New York - Queens
National Government Services, Inc. A and B and HHH MAC 14111 - MAC A J - K Maine
National Government Services, Inc. A and B and HHH MAC 14112 - MAC B J - K Maine
National Government Services, Inc. A and B and HHH MAC 14211 - MAC A J - K Massachusetts
National Government Services, Inc. A and B and HHH MAC 14212 - MAC B J - K Massachusetts
National Government Services, Inc. A and B and HHH MAC 14311 - MAC A J - K New Hampshire
National Government Services, Inc. A and B and HHH MAC 14312 - MAC B J - K New Hampshire
National Government Services, Inc. A and B and HHH MAC 14411 - MAC A J - K Rhode Island
National Government Services, Inc. A and B and HHH MAC 14412 - MAC B J - K Rhode Island
National Government Services, Inc. A and B and HHH MAC 14511 - MAC A J - K Vermont
National Government Services, Inc. A and B and HHH MAC 14512 - MAC B J - K Vermont
How to Document radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of nerves CPT (64635, +64636)
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), also called radiofrequency neurotomy is an interventional pain management procedure that involves heating a part of a pain-transmitting nerve with a radiofrequency needle to create a heat lesion.
Some of our pain physicians offices are asking the question - How to Document radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of nerves CPT (64635, +64636. What is the proper way of reporting this kind of procedure on the medical record when performed?
Here's a guidance from CPT Assistant Article published on May 2020, quotes:
Question: When performing radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of nerves (64635, 64636), is it necessary that the operative report documents the specific facet joints at which the RFA with imaging occurred as well as the nerves treated or denervated?
Answer: Yes, RFA procedures should clearly state which nerves were ablated and which joints were treated. Codes 64635, Destruction by neurolytic agent, paravertebral facet joint nerve(s), with imaging guidance (fluoroscopy or CT); lumbar or sacral, single facet joint, and 64636, Destruction by neurolytic agent, paravertebral facet joint nerve(s), with imaging guidance (fluoroscopy or CT); lumbar or sacral, each additional facet joint (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure), are reported for each joint treated, not each nerve treated. Stating the specific nerve and the level it innervates eliminates confusion and ensures accurate reporting.
Reference: CPT Assistant Published on May 2020
The World Health Organization or the WHO made a code for ICD-10 (not ICD-10-CM) which is the U07.2, COVID-19, virus not identified, intended to give the ability to capture suspected uncertain patients.
The reason you are getting errors in billing this code is that because U07.2 Covid-19, virus not identified
has not been imported into ICD-10-CM (not yet) and its coming up as invalid. It is actually a valid code.
So the guidance is to code the signs and/or symptoms and/or (for example) reporting ICD-10-CM Code Z20.828 - this code is a very code that we can report. Z20.828, Contact with and (suspected) exposure to other viral communicable diseases.
I always suggest that if you have cases where you only see one code such as the U07.2 Covid-19, virus not identified , we need to go back the our providers and let them if they can give you a more appropriate codes based on signs and symptoms and as documented on their medical record.
Can I Bill for a Bilateral Trigger Point Injection using CPT 20552-20553? The answer is NO. See reasons below:
I know it has always been a challenge on how do we properly bill and code for Trigger Point Injections using 20552 and 20553. Because these codes are being reported based on the number of muscles.
Let's describe these 2 injection codes:
Many are still so confused on how to bill for Trigger Points.
Here are my Coding and Billing Tips:
1. There is NO anatomical modifier; these 2 codes are not unilateral - so modifier 50, LT or RT is not applicable;
2. Code and bill based on the number of muscles (not number of injections!)
3. You can append modifier 59 if it meets the guideline and necessity
4. Possible Imaging Used (may be any of the following):
76942 Ultrasonic guidance for needle placement (eg, biopsy, aspiration, injection, localization device), imaging supervision and interpretation
77002 Fluoroscopic guidance for needle placement (eg, biopsy, aspiration, injection, localization device) (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)
Magnetic resonance guidance for needle placement (eg, for biopsy, needle aspiration, injection, or placement of localization device) radiological supervision and interpretation
How to Bill for Multiple EKG Performed by the Same Physician on the Same Day
You can append the Modifier 76 - same service performed on the same day by the same physician. We apply this Modifier on the second line. The first line DO NOT require a modifier. The second line of the same CPT code will be appended with modifier 76.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ms. Pinky Maniri-Pescasio is the Founder of GoHealthcare Consulting. She is a National Speaker on Practice Reimbursement and a Physician Advocate. She has served the Medical Practice Industry for more than 25 years as a Professional Consultant.