Related Stories

CMS Announces Plans to Cover COVID-19 Vaccine - 10/29/2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a rule to make COVID-19 vaccines available at no cost to Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP patients.


Support Medicare Payment Parity for Another Year, TMA Tells Lawmakers - 10/26/2020

TMA is calling for passage of a bill that would require at least a one-year waiver of budget neutrality adjustments, which were part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed 2021 Medicare physician fee schedule, released in August.


TMA Balks at Proposed Medicare Payment Cut, More Changes to QPP During Pandemic - 10/12/2020

Physicians who renew their medical licenses after Sept. 1, 2020, are required to take one hour of CME that addresses human trafficking. TMA has now published its own CME course to educate physicians on how to identify, treat, and respond to people who are at risk or who have been trafficked.


Was Your Practice Affected by COVID-19? Apply for a MIPS Reporting Exemption - 10/09/2020

Did your practice face an unusual extreme hardship this year, such as financial or staffing difficulties related to COVID-19? If so, you could qualify for an exception to the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) reporting requirements for the 2020 performance year. The application deadline is Dec. 31.


Last Chance to Start Certain 2020 MIPS Reporting Tomorrow - 10/02/2020

If you participate in Medicare’s Quality Payment Program (QPP) under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), you will have to report on the required measures – Promoting Interoperability and Improvement Activities – starting Saturday, Oct. 3.


TMA Opposes Bill Defining Clinical Psychologists as Physicians in Medicare - 09/28/2020

A broad swath of organized medicine, including the Texas Medical Association, is asking congressional leadership to oppose a bill that legally would consider clinical psychologists to be physicians within Medicare, saying it “inappropriately” expands psychologists’ scope of practice.


Code Carefully for Bilateral Procedures - 09/23/2020

Coding for bilateral procedures can be confusing. Many payers accept CPT modifier 50 as an indicator of a bilateral procedure, but they differ in how they apply it to their coding and payment policies.


All Things Medicare - 09/22/2020

Need help with Medicare payment issues or with Medicare coding? Do you need information about Medicare enrollment or about participation options? Or are you looking for information about the future of Medicare – what about the payment update, new provisions in the federal Affordable Care Act, new bonuses or new compliance requirements?


Docs Must Supervise Delegation to CRNAs, TMA Tells Attorney General - 09/21/2020

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton should state that certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) require physician supervision when a physician delegates medical acts to them, the Texas Medical Association told the attorney general in response to a request for opinion.


The X{EPSU} Modifiers Further Define Modifier 59 - 08/13/2020

Modifier 59, the distinct procedural service modifier associated with Medicare National Correct Coding Initiative edits, is one you might find confusing (many practices do). Follow these guidelines


Don’t Miss New and Revised LCDs - 08/13/2020

Take a look at these new and revised Medicare local coverage determinations (LCDs) and article updates from Novitas Solutions. Remember, Novitas will reject claims that don’t adhere to LCDs.


CMS’ 2021 Fee Schedule Proposal Could Lower Physician Pay - 08/12/2020

Payments to some physicians who treat Medicare patients would fall from 2020 levels under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’) proposed physician fee schedule for 2021. CMS last week released the annual draft rule, which also recommends updates to the Quality Payment Program (QPP).


Can’t Say It Enough: Document, Document, Document - 08/11/2020

When Medicare delves into claims errors, one stands out: insufficient documentation.


Practice e-Tips on Medicare - 08/10/2020

Get practice tips on all things Medicare. Learn what Medicare requires for enrollment, participation, billing, claims, coding, documentation, and more.


Some Clarity, Some Fog: AG Opines on Physician-Optometrist Relationship - 07/01/2020

An opinion by the Texas attorney general will keep the Texas Optometry Board (TOB) from exerting influence over the practice of medicine – to a certain point.


Buying Time: Medicine’s Warnings Prompt CMS to Delay Dramatic Coding and Payment Changes - 06/23/2020

Medicine’s warnings prompt CMS to delay dramatic coding and payment changes.


Invoice No Longer Required for Some Medicare Claims - 06/03/2020

For certain biologicals and medications reported in Medicare Part B claims, Novitas Solutions now will allow you to enter invoice information on the claim, rather than provide the actual invoice for the services.


Use “Time, MDM” for Medicare Telehealth Coding - 06/02/2020

When coding for Medicare telehealth visits, you can use either medical decisionmaking (MDM) or time as the basis for your selection of office/outpatient evaluation and management (E&M) levels of service, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has clarified.


Running Out of Reasons: Low Payments, Hassles Leave Physicians Wondering: Why stay in Medicare? - 06/01/2020

Texas physicians who deal with Medicare’s substandard payments and world-class administrative hassles are feeling underappreciated. The latest report from the committee that advises Congress on Medicare payment policy may exacerbate that feeling. In March, the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) released its annual report assessing payments to physicians, among other sectors. MedPAC recommended no changes to the 2021 Medicare physician fee schedule, meaning no increase in physician payments.  


Appropriate Use of Time? Medicare Rules for Advanced Imaging Orders Pose Prior-Auth Burdens - 04/09/2020

An effective way to cut down on overuse of potentially harmful imaging, or a prior authorization-esque burden on physicians who order needed tests? Texas physicians see Medicare’s “appropriate use” system for advanced imaging both ways. As of Jan. 1, physicians ordering advanced imaging tests for Medicare patients must consult an electronic portal, which evaluates whether the test meets Medicare’s own “appropriate use criteria” for whether a test should be ordered. Then when the claim is filed, physicians must document that they checked the system and its determination.  


I Won’t Take the Nurse Practitioners’ Bait - 04/09/2020

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is obviously intent on picking a fight with physicians. No thanks. We’ll take the high road, fully aware of the dangers of their plans, and stick with what we know is best for our patients: the physician-led health care team.


Submit 2019 QPP Data by March 31 to Avoid a 7% Medicare Payment Cut - 03/02/2020

The data submission period for Medicare’s 2019 Quality Payment Program (QPP) is under way and closes on March 31. If you haven’t started the process, now is the time to ensure your data for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is in order and submit it in time to make corrections by the deadline, if needed.


TMA Opposes Attempts to Expand Audiologists’ Scope - 02/14/2020

Proposed federal laws that would give audiologists unlimited access to Medicare patients without a physician referral could lead to lasting, and expensive, harm to patients, medicine once again told U.S. Senate and House leadership this week.


TMA to Trump: Do Not Expand NPPs’ Scope of Practice - 02/12/2020

When President Donald Trump released an executive order earlier this month that would, in part, expand the scope of practice of nonphysician practitioners, the Texas Medical Association vowed to keep physicians at the head of the health care team. On Monday, TMA President David Fleeger, MD, took a major step to do that, urging President Trump and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to remove that language entirely.


You May Need to Refile Some Medicare Claims - 02/03/2020

Be on the lookout for Medicare claims you’ve filed since Oct. 1 in which procedure codes failed to process, causing a rejected claim. You will need to refile these claims.