Thursday, June 28, 2012

Appeals process basic question and answer



Q: During the appeal process, at what point can additional records be submitted?

A: Additional medical records may be submitted at the redetermination level (1st level) and the reconsideration level (2nd level). If your appeal is a result of a recovery audit contractor (RAC) determination, the RAC will forward the medical records to the affiliated contractor, or First Coast Service Options Inc.



Q: Who makes up the Departmental Appeals Board (DAB), which is the fourth level in the appeals process?

A: The DAB includes the board itself (supported by the Appellate Division), Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) (supported by the Civil Remedies Division), and the Medicare Appeals Council (supported by the Medicare Operations Division). Thus, the DAB has three adjudicatory divisions, each with its own set of judges and staff, as well as its own areas of jurisdiction. The DAB also has a leadership role in implementing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) across the department, since the DAB chair is the designated dispute resolution specialist under the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996.



Q: What does the term “amount in controversy” mean?

A: The amount in controversy (AIC) is the amount in dispute, at a minimum, that you must have for the administrative law judge (ALJ) and judicial review levels in the appeal process.



Q: Is there a resource that highlights for providers or beneficiaries what would be considered a relevant appeal to submit?

A: All claims or claim line items that have been denied may be appealed. You can follow the guidelines outlined in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Internet only manuals (IOM).



Q: Can we resubmit a claim that was denied by the recovery audit contractor (RAC) if we determine the incorrect code was submitted?

A: No, you must submit a redetermination (the first level of the appeals process). There are edits in the fiscal intermediary shared system (FISS) that will prevent you from performing an adjustment against the denied claim or submitting a new claim for the same dates of service.



Q: What are the reason code ranges for claims when they’ve denied?

A: For claims that have been reviewed by the medical review department and denied, the reason code will start with a “5”. If your claim was denied through the fiscal intermediary shared system (FISS) the reason code will start with a “7”, which is a non-medical denial.

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