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Medicare

Medicare

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CODING AND REIMBURSEMENT | Advanced Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage Use: Mandatory or Voluntary?

Understanding the correct use of the Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN) Form CMS-R-131 is important to ensure billing compliance for traditional Medicare (Part B). Audiologists may face challenges determining when Medicare covers a service and when an ABN is required. Federal law requires that providers, including audiologists, must notify a Medicare beneficiary in advance when a service that Medicare typically covers is likely to be denied and/or when the item or service is not considered by Medicare to be medically reasonable and necessary. The ABN meets this requirement.

Topic(s): Medicare, Coding, Reimbursement, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Balance/Vestibular

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CODING AND REIMBURSEMENT | New Medicare LCD Process—What You Need to Know

Local coverage determination (LCD) policies issued by Medicare administrative contractors (MACs) serve as the workhorse of Medicare coverage policy. About 90 percent of coverage determinations are made through LCDs. Coverage policies include a defined list of services the insurer will cover and specific exclusions. Medicare provides coverage of services that are determined to be “reasonable and necessary” for Medicare beneficiaries. If a specific item or service is not covered under an LCD, this does not mean it isn’t covered. Claims may be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis.

Topic(s): Coding, Reimbursement, Practice Management, Medicare, Medicaid, Local coverage determination (LCD), Medicare administrative contractors (MACs), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

Publication Issue: Audiology Today May/June 2019

Audiology Today Mar/Apr 2019…What’s Inside This Issue?

The editorial team and I are so happy to announce the content for this latest issue of Audiology Today. We are featuring a number of comprehensive, relevant, and interesting articles, as well as some short reads on public relations, coding and reimbursement, and audiology advocacy.

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CODING AND REIMBURSEMENT | Coding Update: Contralateral Routing Device

The American Academy of Audiology (the Academy) and others recently requested revisions for codes and code descriptors in the CROS/BiCROS family and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved many of the proposed changes. The groups requested the changes to reflect changes in CROS/BiCROS technology. 

Topic(s): Audiologist, Binaural, Behind The Ear (BTE), Bilateral microphones with contralateral routing of signal (BiCROS), Contralateral Routing of Signal (CROS), In The Ear (ITE), Hearing Aids, Coding, Reimbursement, Practice Management, Medicaid, Medicare, Fitting, Sensorineural Hearing Loss

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Publication Issue: Audiology Today March/April 2019

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Medicare, Hearing Care, and Audiology: Data-Driven Perspectives

For the public at large, Medicare evokes the concept of a health insurance plan for the aged or retired population. Created in 1965 to provide a safety net for older individuals who faced substantial medical problems, the benefits available to Medicare beneficiaries are generally more limited than those available through private health insurance plans. Medicare has four parts (Medicare.com, 2018) as summarized in Table 1.  

Topic(s): CPT - Current Procedural Terminology, Medicaid, Medicare, Coding, Reimbursement, Practice Management

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Eyes, Ears, & Teeth

In the March/April 2018 issue of Audiology Today, I compared the professions of audiology and optometry and examined some of the successes of optometry in establishing autonomy and an expanded scope of practice. You may want to stop here and give it a read. I’ll wait.

Glad you came back.

Topic(s): Bone-Conduction Implant (BCI), Cochlear Implants (CI), Medicaid, Medicare, Middle Ear, Coding

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CODING AND REIMBURSEMENT | CMS Includes Audiologists in the QPP

Under the final Quality Payment Program (QPP) rule for 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that audiologists will be considered “eligible clinicians” for QPP participation, effective January 1, 2019. The QPP replaced the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that for many years served as the underpinning of Medicare provider payment. 

Topic(s): Audiologist, Medicaid, Medicare, Coding, Compliance, Reimbursement, Practice Management

Hearing Care Access?

Professional issues in audiology were spotlighted in a recent JAMA opinion piece. The authors of the article highlight the importance of services provided by audiologists being covered by Medicare. They posit that while the OTC legislation may result in greater access to devices, the inability to bill insurances for the requisite rehabilitative services that were typically bundled into traditional hearing aid fittings and purchases may still remain a barrier to those in need. 

Reference

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Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2017 Would Expand Role of Audiology

Much of the focus of the Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aid Act of 2017 (S.670 and H.R.1652) has been on improving accessibility and affordability to hearing aids by providing a “do-it-yourself” (DIY) distribution channel for patients who are comfortable with self-assessment and fitting of hearing aids.

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