Sunday, July 3, 2016

Payment included in another service - CO 97, M15, M144 AND N70

We received a denial with claim adjustment reason code (CARC) PR 49. What steps can we take to avoid this denial?
Routine examinations and related services are not covered.

A: There are a few scenarios that exist for this denial reason code, as outlined below. Please review the associated remittance advice remark codes (RARCs) noted on the remittance advice and then refer to the specific resources/tips outlined below to avoid this denial.


M15 – Separately billed services/tests have been bundled as they are considered components of that same procedure. Separate payment is not allowed.
• The service billed was paid as part of another service/procedure for the same date of service. Separate payment is never made for routinely bundled services and supplies. Bundled services should be billed to Medicare only when a denial is needed for a secondary payer.

The following procedures are examples of bundled services commonly seen with this denial.
• 94760: Noninvasive oximetry
• 97010: Hot/cold packs
• 99071: Educational supplies
• 99080: Special reports or forms
• 99090: Analysis of clinical data
• 99100: Special anesthesia services
• A4500: Surgical tray

• Check the procedure code on the First Coast fee schedule lookup tool. Scroll down to policy indicators and review code status. If status is equal to “b,” the service/procedure is not paid separately, not even with a modifier.



M144 – Pre/post-operative care payment is included in the allowance for the surgery provided.
• The cost of care before and after the surgery or procedure is included in the approved amount for that service. Evaluation and management (E/M) services related to the surgery, and conducted during the post-op period of a surgery, are considered not separately payable.
• If billing for split care, coordinate split-care billing activities with other provider(s) involved in the patient’s care, and ensure the surgical code is billed before the services for post-operative care are billed.
• If a modifier is applicable to the claim, apply the appropriate modifier and resubmit the claim. Submit corrected line(s) only. Resubmitting the entire claim will cause a duplicate claim denial.
• Modifier 54: pre-and intra-operative services performed
• Modifier 55: post-operative management services only
• Modifier 56: pre-operative services only
• Refer to Modifier FAQs for additional information.
• See the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Internet-only manual (IOM), publication 100-04, chapter 12, section 40 external pdf file for additional guidance on global surgery.
• Resources available through the First Coast University external link:
• To understand how billing for services or procedures performed in the global surgery period can be affected, complete the free Web-based training (WBT) Introduction to Global Surgery -- Part B


N70 – Consolidated billing and payment applies.
• The claim dates of service fall within the patient’s home health episode’s start and end dates. Before providing services to a Medicare beneficiary, determine if a home health episode exists.
• Ask the beneficiary (or his/her authorized representative) if he/she is presently receiving home health services under a home health plan of care.
• Always check beneficiary eligibility prior to submitting claims to Medicare.
• Click here for ways to verify beneficiary eligibility and get home health episode’s start and/or end date, if applicable.
• You may also look up home health provider information, including servicing provider number, by clicking here zip.gif.
• The services billed are subject to consolidated billing requirements by the Home Health Agency (HHA) while the beneficiary is under a home health plan of care authorized by a physician. The HHA is responsible for providing these services, either directly or under arrangement.

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