Getting Medicare to pony up for colorectal cancer screenings is not difficult provided you follow its frequency guidelines and eligibility requirements to the letter. A coding slip up on one of these items will knock you out of the saddle, and Medicare won’t accept the claim at all.
Rope in all the coding info you’ll need via this Medicare colorectal cancer screening FAQ.
Who’s Eligible for Average-Risk Test?
If the Medicare patient is 50-plus years old, he is eligible for a covered Medicare screening, confirms Dena Rumisek, CPC, biller at Michigan’s Grand River Gastroenterology PC.
However: These patients are considered average risk, and can have a colorectal cancer screening only once every 10 years, says Cheryl Ray, CCS, CPMA, of Atlantic Gastroenterology in Greenville, N.C. Ignore Medicare’s frequency guidelines at your peril, experts warn.
“Medicare is very stringent on the date … it has to be 10 years or longer — it can’t be 9 years and 360 days,” between covered screening colonoscopies, assures Rumisek.
Example: A 68-year-old established Medicare patient reports for a screening colonoscopy on Dec. 5, 2009. The patient’s records indicate that he last had a covered screening on Sept. 15, 1998. On the claim, you should report G0121 (Colorectal cancer screening; colonoscopy on individual not meeting criteria for high risk).
What ICD-9 Codes Are In Play for G0121?
Just one, provided there is no need for any therapeutic intervention during the colonoscopy. Medicare requires v76.51 (Special screening for malignant neoplasms; colon) on all G0121 claims. You might list other identified conditions secondarily, including diverticulosis (562.10) or hemorrhoids (455.0).
Always list the V code first for an average-risk screening, however.
What if the Patient Had a Recent Flexible Sig?
The frequency rules differ depending on whether...
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