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CMS: Wellness visits done in hospital settings will be held until April

CMS has issued a reminder that annual wellness visit (AWV) services rendered in the hospital setting (inpatient or outpatient) will be held by contractors and not paid until April 3. This only applies to AWVs that are billed alone on a claim; when the AWV is billed with another service, the entire claim will be processed, the agency says.

The reason is that Medicare contractors must update their claims processing systems; they won't be ready to process standalone AWVs until April 3. This reminder, which was posted March 11 on the NIH physician listserv, sparked a minor panic among some readers who thought AWVs would again be subject to the processing issues that struck in January.

AWVs furnished in the office setting aren't affected, and are being paid right now without any delays, according to the CMS spokeswoman I talked to. I'll be keeping a close eye on this issue, but so far I've heard nothing from practices that would conflict with what CMS told me personally.
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