CMS revised the requirements on “April 19, 2013 to delete “and indicating whether services were added to the HH plan of care by a physician who did not certify the plan of care” from the Provider Action Needed” section of MLN Matters numberMM8136 Revised.
Implementation date remains: July 1, 2013
Please see the following updated article.
Every time an OASIS is submitted to the state, portions of it may be parsed out to state, regional, and Federal groups such as the HEAT, MAC review groups, and Federal special projects in the DOJ and FBI. That means that when a review letter arrives, it may already be too late.
Each time a claim is submitted, it is being reviewed using sophisticated predictive analytics that review a number of indicators including: frequencies, certain HIPPS codes and now Q codes. Is your billing company or department aggressively assisting to protect you?
Each time a diagnosis code is assigned to a clinical record and attached to that patient claim, an audit can be triggered. Is your coding department aggressively assisting to protect you?
Alerts in billing, Q Codes, and with ICD-10 looming, are you prepared?
The Q codes
Recently, CMS issued Change Request 8136 that requests new data reporting requirements for Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) claims. It is to go effect July 1, 2013, Home Health Agencies (HHAs) must start reporting new codes indicating:
The location where services were provided
The location where services were provided should be reported along with the first billable visit in a home health PPS episode with one of three Q codes: • Small clarification in the wording, but it can mean a BIG difference. Q Codes will be required to identify where the services were PROVIDED not necessarily the place of residence. Note the difference in wording.
1. Q5001 – Hospice oe Home Health Provided in a patient’s home/residence
2. Q5002 – Hospice or Home Health Provided in an Assisted Living Facility
3. Q5009 – Hospice or Home Health Provided in a place not otherwise specified (NO)
Further, changes in the location during an episode must be reported on the corresponding line to the first visit in the new location.
CMS’ requirement to report new Q codes and modifiers could cause claims denials and rejections for your agency. Industry leaders predict CMS auditors will use these new codes to target duplicate services for patients in an ALF.
The patient’s residence is where he or she makes their home. “This may be his or her own dwelling, an apartment, a relative’s home, a home for the aged, or some other type of institution. Refer to www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Merdicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNMatters/Articles/Downloads/MM8136.pdf.com for the entire update from CMS MLN.
These codes also can interrupt productivity if your agency does not have a process in place by July 1 for documenting these services and supplying your billing specialists with the necessary information. Select Data has been providing billing services to the home health and hospice industry for over 22 years. If we can assist, call us.
On another matter…EDITS
Per CMS, in a report released a while ago, the NHIC Corp Medical Review Department reviewed claims selected by three service- specific home health edits between July1 and December 31, 2012. The alert was entitled Home Health Prepay Results. These reviews have found continuing high error rates. The three edits are:
· 5ACO1- billing of the HHRGs 3AFK
· 5ACO2- billing the HHRG 1AFK
· 5ACO3- billing 5-7 visits for full episode
52% of the claims were denied. The top denial reason was 55H3A-skilled observation was not reasonable and necessary. This was the denial reason for 56% of the denials. They cite “CMS Publication 100-02, Medicare Benefit Policy Manual Chapter 7, Section 18.104.22.168 explains that nursing services for observation are covered when the patient’s condition is changeable. Once the condition stabilizes, the nursing services are no longer medically necessary.”
The next highest denial reason stated CMS. was no physician certification (about 15% of denied claims). “The face to face encounter must be documented by the certifying physician.” They referred to Publication 100-02, MBPM, Chapter 7, Section 30.5.1.
“Documentation not supporting the homebound status was the reason for denial in 14% of the denied claims. Reason code 55H2B is appended to the claim when the documentation does not support the patient is homebound.” This was the third most common denial. Homebound status should be one of the first things reviewed by the clinician and the first item reviewed by any coding specialist. If there is insufficient documentation to support homebound status or medical necessity, a coding specialist should not be coding this record as it does not meet Home Health regulations right from the start. Is this a requirement of your coding specialists? It is a standard at Select Data.
The fourth most frequent denial was “physician orders not signed timely.” Another reason found as a denial reason was that” therapy services were determined to not require a therapist.”
Agencies should be auditing records routinely for these errors as well as the completeness of the record. Consider developing or using a chart audit tool. A sample of such a tool can be found on the Select Data website. That tool may be modified for completeness to meet your agency specific needs.
The NHIC Corp Medical Review Department review of specific claims are not the only claims being reviewed. Palmetto GBA recently announced new medical prepay audits based on certain HIPPS codes that have the highest denial rates. While PGBA internally identified the top 20 HIPPS groupings that have the highest denial rate. Here are the two under specific review:
As an agency provider, you should be prepared for possible ADRs on claims with these HIPPS. When an End of Episode claim is submitted using one of the two above HIPPS groupings, Palmetto GBA may place the claims into ADR status and you will be required to submit additional documentation from the chart in order for a determination to be made on the claim either being paid or denied. If you have limited QA resources, these are the charts you may want to focus on.
PECOS is placed on Delay per CMS
Due to technical issues, implementation of the Phase 2 ordering and referring denial edits is being delayed. These edits would have checked certain claims for an approved or validly opted-out physician or non-physician who is an eligible specialty type with a valid individual National Provider Identifier (NPI). If this information were missing or incorrect, the following types of claims would deny:
• Claims from laboratories for ordered tests;
• Claims from imaging centers for ordered imaging procedures; and
• Claims from suppliers of Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) for ordered DMEPOS.
• Claims from Part A Home Health Agencies (HHA)
CMS will advise you of the new implementation date in the near future. In the interim, informational edits will continue to be sent for those claims that would have been denied had the edits been in place.
Predictive Analytics for operations and clinical data
In home health care, predictive models are being used to exploit patterns found in historical and transactional data to identify risks and opportunities. The present models capture relationships among many factors to allow assessment of risk or potential risk associated with a particular set of conditions. The relationships should guide clinicians in their care plan decisions as well as care delivery. There are thousands of potential OASIS and coding combinations. Because of the patient profiles and patterns retained over the years, comparisons can be made readily. Add HHRGs and service information to the OASIS and diagnostic data and CMS can gather very significant data regarding your agency care delivery and outcomes. MANY analytic filters are utilized to screen the data.
The initial round of filters are termed MUEs (Medically Unbelievable Edits). These edits are the first predictors of fraud and can alert the Z-PICs of agencies that should be monitored. Auditors may monitor an agency for years, gathering data, analyzing data and patterns, and reviewing payments. The agency profile is completed.
This data and these pre-probe edits allow Z-PICs to have plenty of time to analyze data and monitor agency behaviors so that when they send a letter, they have already completed their initial audit and arrived at a solid conclusion.
Since experts state that 75-85% of all agencies are acutely unaware of business operations data and do not have necessary compliance rules built into or a part of their billing practices to protect them from wrongful claim submission. Agencies are at risk so questions must be asked. Who is auditing your clinical records and care, the ICD-9 coding, and the claim submission? Who is monitoring your data? Do you have clinical and operational benchmarks? In 2009, billing errors were found to have doubled. Be proactive now, because if your compliance rules and program are weak, you could be hearing from the Z-PICs soon.
If you are considering third party ICD-9 (soon to be ICD-10) coding or billing specialty services, consider Select Data, the Gold Standard in these services for over 20 years. Call us at1.800.332.0555.