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Question: What is a hypertensive crisis and how is it reported in ICD-10-CM?
Question: We conducted a sample review of claims for 2021 and found two visits that were performed by the physician assistant (PA) but billed incident-to on days when the physician was not in the office. When we investigated, we found more claims with the same problem. According to the documentation for each visit the physician was at home but “present” through a real-time, audio/visual Zoom connection. Is there an exception that allows us to bill incident-to this way?
Physicians can provide virtual direct supervision thanks to one of the many waivers that CMS created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual direct supervision gives the practice more flexibility to bill incident-to services, but it is not a permanent policy.
Question: I would like clarification on whether only MDs, DPMs, APRNs or PAs are allowed to perform and bill Medicare for debridement of mycotic nails (codes 11720 and 11721) in the office setting, when all the other criteria for the procedures have been met. Recently, I have been asked about a nail technician or medical assistant performing these procedures under supervision of a MD or DPM and billing the services to Medicare as incident to. I have found no information to suggest that this is appropriate. Am I correct in stating that nail technicians or medical assistants are not qualified to perform this service?
Question: One of our commercial payers offers extra payment from the add-on codes 99050 (Services provided in the office at times other than regularly scheduled office hours, or days when the office is normally closed [eg, holidays, Saturday or Sunday], in addition to basic service) and 99051 (Service[s] provided in the office during regularly scheduled evening, weekend, or holiday office hours, in addition to basic service). I get the first code, but the second one just sounds like normal service during normal hours. What’s the deal?
Question: We have a patient whose testosterone therapy is ordered elsewhere and will be sent to us for injection. I’ve had it drilled into me that we never leave off the drug code when we bill administration, but we clearly can’t charge for the drug. How do we bill?
Question: We recently sent a claim to Blue Cross of Alabama that included 20610-LT for a left shoulder diagnosis and 20610-RT for a right knee diagnosis. The payer responded that we should have billed these procedures on one claim line with a 50 modifier (bilateral procedure). We replied that this was not a bilateral procedure, but rather two separate procedures done in two separate joints. The payer then stated that because code 20610 has a bilateral surgery indicator of “1” in the Medicare physician fee schedule, modifier 50 should be used rather than RT/LT. There doesn’t seem to be any way to report a major joint arthrocentesis done on different joints on opposite sides of the body. Is there a way to correct the situation?
Question: I know the No Surprises Act (NSA) and the CMS rules that put it in practice require that provider directories be kept up to date. But I thought that was all the insurers’ responsibility. The other day I was looking at guidance from a CMS’ Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) that says, among other things, “Under the No Surprises Act, providers and health care facilities must generally ... refund enrollees amounts paid in excess of in-network cost-sharing amounts with interest, if the enrollee has inadvertently received out-of-network care due to inaccurate provider directory information.” Why is this the providers’ responsibility?
Question: I have read the Part B News story about service animals in the practice (PBN 4/9/18). Since that story was published, I have seen a lot of coverage of “emotional support” animals and wonder if shared public spaces like the doctor’s office are required to accommodate them as well.
Question: What is the best way to determine if an E/M service is above and beyond the physician work normally associated with a procedure to justify the use of modifier 25 (Significant, separately identifiable E/M service by the same physician on the same day of the procedure or other service)?


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