graph down 2Beginning April 1, 2013 the Budget Control Act of 2011, or sequestration, will take effect. What this means to providers is a mandatory 2 percent reduction in the Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) program for all FFS claims with dates of service on or after April 1, 2013. The reduction will take effect in Part A, Part B and durable medical equipment (DME). DME includes, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies, including claims under the Competitive Bidding Program. satellite map . The same 2 percent reduction will be based on date of service or the start date of rental equipment or multi-day supplies being on or after April 1, 2013.

The reduction will occur after determining coinsurance, deductible, and any applicable Medicare secondary payment adjustments.

The 2 percent reduction will be reflected on Medicare remittances (ERA). The remittance will appear the same with an addition of a separate adjustment that will show by the CAR (Claim Adjustment Reason) code 223 – Adjustment code for mandated federal, state or local law/regulation that is not already covered by another code and is mandated before a new code can be created to reflect the 2 percent reduction. This will show as a line level adjustment on Part B providers and a claim level adjustment on Part A providers.

Medicare Refunds

CMSAt the beginning of the year, President Obama signed the American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012. Within this act, there is a provision that allows CMS/Medicare two additional years to go back and request refunds on overpayment or payment made in error. hosting information . What this essentially means is that Medicare can now go back 5 years instead of 3 years when requesting refunds. The provision is in section 638 and is as follows…


A. IN GENERAL – The last sentence of subsection (b) and (c) of section 1870 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395gg) are each amended.

B. By striking “third year” and inserting “fifth year” and by striking “three year” and inserting “five year””

Transitional Care Management Services


As of January 1st, physicians can be paid for the management of patients who have been discharged from a hospital or skilled nursing facility. Depending on the complexity of care for the patient, Medicare will reimburse $164 and $231 for care provided in an office or clinic setting during a 30 day period after discharge.

The American Medical Association Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Editorial Panel have created two codes for the transitional care management (TCM) services, 99495 and 99496. The AMA specifies that these services are for established patients whose medical and/or psychosocial problems require moderate or high complexity decision making during transitions from facilities such as hospitals, skilled nursing, rehabilitation hospital, long term acute care hospital, partial hospital, to the patients community setting (home, domiciliary, rest home, or assisted living). TCM begins upon the date of discharge and continues for the next 29 days.

The TCM services are comprised of one face-to-face visit within the 30 day period, in combination with non face-to-face services that may be given by the physician or other qualified and licensed physician staff under the direction of the physician.

The first face-to-face visit after discharge is part of the TCM period as long as it falls within specified time frames. Additional visits after the initial TCM service are reported with the traditional E/M service codes. TCM also requires interactive contact with the patient or caregiver within 2 business days of discharge. The contact can be face-to-face, phone, or other electronic means. However, medication reconciliation and management must occur no later than the date of the scheduled face-to-face visit.

What determines which TCM code is appropriate for care is the medical decision making and the date of the first face-to-face visit. For 99495 the face-to-face visit must occur within 14 days from discharge and contain moderate complexity in decision making. For 99496 the face-to-face visit must occur within 7 days from discharge and contain high complexity in the decision making.

Code Selection Example

Decision Making                        Face-to-face, 7 days                      Face-to-face, 8-14 days

Moderate                                              99495                                           99495

High                                                      99496                                           99495

Documentation to be taken includes timing of the initial post discharge communication with patient or caregiver, date of face-to-face visit, and complexity of decision making.

Only one individual within a practice may report TCM services within the 30 day period.

A physician reporting TCM services may not report care plan oversight services, prolonged services without direct patient contact, anticoagulant management, medical team conferences, education and training, telephone services, end stage renal disease services, online medical evaluation services, preparation of special reports, analysis of data, complex chronic care coordination services, medication therapy management services, during the time period covered by the transitional care management services codes.