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CLASSIC LIST

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06/Dec/2023

On December 4th, 2023, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shared a new report titled Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-Aside (WCMSA) Fiscal Year Statistics 2023. The report provides four fiscal years of data regarding Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-Aside (WCMSA) Proposed Value and Workers’ Compensation Review Contractor Values (WCRC) from 2020 to 2023.

Takeaways

Total Submissions
Total WCMSA submissions to CMS declined steadily between CMS’ FY 2020 and FY 2022, descending from 16,517 to 13,752, a reduction of almost 17% in three years. FY 2023’s 15,743 submission count represents a reversal of that trend for the time being. This may be the result of the appearance of Section 4.3 in the WCMSA Reference Guide in 2022, in which CMS speaks about “non-submit” or “evidence-based” MSA programs, describing them as “a potential attempt to shift financial burden”.

Proposed vs Recommended
Those who decided to voluntarily submit their proposed WCMSA to CMS for review were rewarded with recommendations that were, all told, 22.95% percent higher than the proposed amount. For comparison, the average percentage difference between the submitter’s proposed MSA and CMS’ recommended MSA for CMS’ FY 2020 through FY 2022 was 13.9%. This is an increase of roughly 65% in CMS’ FY 2023 versus the prior three years’ average. Not only is the counter percentage higher, but the total recommended amount is higher. So, it’s not as if submitters have been lowballing their submissions. For those who embraced a non-submit program for fear of significantly higher MSA counters, CMS dangled no carrots in FY 2023 to encourage a return to voluntary submission.

Proposed MSAs and Total Settlement Amounts
WCMSAs submitted by the industry have, on average, consistently ranged between a proposed amount of $70,439 and $74,847 between CMS’ FY 2020 and FY 2023. Total Settlements utilizing WCMSAs over the same period have averaged between $159,579 and $171,170. Accordingly, WCMSAs constitute around 43% of the total settlement amount in which they are included (pre-CMS recommendation).

Medical vs Rx
Medical expenses with MSAs have increased steadily in recent years and CMS’ FY 2023 is no exception. CMS’ recommended total for the medical portion of submitted WCMSAs is up 13% since 2020. Conversely, Rx expenses have declined by 33%. While several factors are likely to be at play here, CMS’ use of sometimes aggressive NDCs to price drugs may be one culprit. Medivest consistently sees submitted MSAs priced using drug NDCs unavailable in the actual market, and well below market average.

The Big Question

These are statistics from those WCMSA’s submitted for approval, meaning they were written by industry-trained professionals in an attempt to match CMS’ recommended methodology. If the industry is consistent, what has changed at CMS? Also, what does this say about CMS’s position concerning non-submitted WCMSA’s that were written to Evidence-Based Medicine or other non-submit standards in light of the previously modified Section 4.3 of the WCMSA Reference Guide?

For Additional Information

Medivest will continue to monitor changes occurring at CMS and will keep its readers up to date when such changes are announced. For questions, feel free to reach out to the Medivest representative in your area by clicking here or call us directly at 877.725.2467.


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On November 13, 2023, CMS hosted a previously announced webinar focused on its upcoming expansion of Total Payment Obligation of Claimant settlement data (TPOC) to be reported under the Medicare Secondary Payer statute’s (MSP) Section 111 Mandatory Insurance Reporting.

The additional TPOC settlement data to be reported specifically includes whether a WCMSA amount was established and if so, any amount above $0.00 so designated, the amount that was approved by CMS (if applicable), the period of coverage (i.e. life expectancy of the injured worker), the funding type – whether funded by lump sum or via a structured annuity (without commenting on any preference or presumptions by CMS if funded one way or another), if funded by structure, the seed amount (a type of down payment estimating the first two years of coverage plus initial surgery for any included body part(s), the anniversary deposit (when additional annuitized payments would be made), the Case Control Number (starts with a W if submitted to CMS for approval or a 0 or 1 if not submitted), and the Professional Administrator’s EIN.

The premise for including the additional WCMSA information with TPOC data is to allow CMS to flag injury related medical diagnosis codes (ICD codes) in the Medicare beneficiaries’ record called the Common Working File (CWF) with a “W” (at least for those WCMSA’s that have been approved) to assist CMS in being more efficient at denying payment for medicals that are injury related and compensated in the TPOC settlement. The Workers’ Compensation (WC) carriers or self insureds appoint Responsible Reporting Entities (RREs) to currently provide Section 111 data for both ongoing claims with Ongoing Responsibility for Medicals (ORMs) and for settlements (TPOCs). Under this expanded reporting data set, RREs would be expected to submit this information for then current Medicare beneficiaries, with testing to occur in 2024 and implementation projected to begin in early 2025 as early as January 2025. While presenter John Jenkins, CMS Health Insurance Specialist, who also presented for CMS when the addition of Section 4.3 in the Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-Aside Reference Guide (WCMSA Reference Guide) was announced and when CMS modified that language, made it clear that this expanded reporting expectation would not extend to No Fault or liability settlements compensating for future medicals (i.e. NFMSA’s or LMSA’s), he did say it was intended to cover WCMSA TPOC information even if the WCMSA at issue was not submitted to CMS for review/approval. For example, if the WCMSA allocation report used an Evidenced Based Medicine cost projection Method or other non-submit projection method as opposed to a CMS cost projection methodology espoused under the WCMSA Reference Guide, Jenkins explained that there would still be an expectation that this additional data would be reported to CMS.

Jenkins also indicated that once the WCMSA information is reported under Section 111, notification would be sent to the Medicare beneficiary directly.

As background in describing the history of Section 111, Jenkins reminded listeners that Section 111 is part of the federal MSP statute (42 U.S.C. Section 1395y(b)(2) et seq., and that its provisions were added to the MSP pursuant to the 2007 Medicare and Medicaid SCHIP Extension Act (MMSEA)(implemented a few years later). He also pointed out that in addition to the federal MSP statute, the regulations to the MSP are found in the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) and that 42 C.F.R. 411.46 specifically, reiterates Medicare as a secondary payer to Workers’ Compensation claims (including for both ORM and TPOC’s, and that nothing in the webinar would replace any existing requirements of Responsible Reporting Entities as to thresholds for reporting ORM or TPOC’s).

Answers to questions from the webinar audience were provided by both Steve Forry, CMS Director Division of MSP Program Operations and presenter, John Jenkins, CMS Health Insurance Specialist.

Questions regarding the webinar’s contents and the subject matter may be submitted to CMS via its dedicated Section 111 email address, s111WCMSA@cms.hhs.gov.

Take Aways

This webinar gives us a glimpse as to how CMS intends to address the EBM and other non-submit WCMSA’s that it originally referenced when it added Section 4.3 to the WCMSA Reference Guide.  How CMS will be able to require data for something that is not required by law was not elaborated on and is yet to be seen.  However, as we in the MSP industry have always understood, while the WCMSA submission process is and has always been voluntary, we always knew that if you submit for approval, you are essentially now in the CMS arena where you will be playing by its guidance/rules.  Now, even if you don’t submit a WCMSA for approval, ostensibly for your RRE to be able to complete the Mandatory Insurance Reporting under Section 111, it seems the WCMSA amount and other new data will be available for CMS to assist it in its quest to comply with the MSP and prevent Medicare from paying until the primary plan’s injury related future compensation has been exhausted.

Claimant attorneys should be made aware of this procedure at the time it is implemented so they can field questions that may come back to them by injured workers.  Likewise, adjusters handling WC claims may also get follow up calls asking for clarification and what the notification means.  Ultimately, this means that representatives for WC carriers and representatives for injured workers should solidify their methods of providing informed consent to their respective clients so that nobody is surprised when a post settlement injury related medical that is usually Medicare covered is denied.  For those who establish WCMSA’s, the solution is to bill the WCMSA, document the expenditure (with items and services priced at the respective fee schedule rate and the prescription drugs at Redbook Average Wholesale Price (AWP), and keep up with attestations to CMS on an annual basis so that once exhausted, Medicare would become primary.

What’s New?

A new coversheet is available for any Non Group Health Plan (NGHP) or agent when corresponding with the Commercial Recovery Center (CRC) and can be found here:  CRC NGHP Correspondence Cover Sheet (cms.gov)

The NGHP Appeals Quick Reference Guide was updated and is available here:  NGHP Submit Appeals Quick Reference Guide April 2023 (cms.gov)

For Additional Information

Count on Medivest to help keep you up to date with the constant updates, guidance, and rule changes related to CMS’s enforcement of the MSP on a regular basis. For questions, feel free to reach out to the Medivest representative in your area by clicking here or call us direct at 877.725.2467.


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19/Oct/2023

CMS will be hosting a Section 111 Workers’ Compensation Reporting Webinar on Monday November 13, 2023 applicable to all primary plans considered Non-Group Health Plans (NGHP) including Liability Insurance (including Self-Insurance), No-Fault Insurance and Workers’ Compensation. Section 111 is also known as Mandatory Insurance Reporting and CMS will be focus its webinar on the expansion of Section 111 Non-Group Health Plan (NGHP) Total Payment Obligation to Claimant (TPOC) reporting to include Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-Aside (WCMSA) information.

As usual, the format will include opening remarks and then a presentation by CMS that will include background and timelines, followed by a question-and-answer session. CMS has indicated that “because this expansion impacts reporting of WCMSAs, it is strongly recommended that Responsible Reporting Entities (RREs) who report Workers’ Compensation settlements attend.”


 

Date:  November 13, 2023
Time:  1:00 PM ET

Webinar Link: htps://cms.zoomgov.com/j/1606789743?pwd=VzZ0Uk96ZWs1NUUvbm5xUnpJU2l4Zz09

Passcode: 100553

Or to connect via phone:

Conference Dial In: 1-833-568-8864
Conference Passcode: 160 678 9743

Due to the number of expected participants, please log in at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the presentation.


 

Additional information about recent updates from CMS can be found here. If you have questions on how topics discussed in this webinar may affect your clients, please contact Medivest here or call us at 877.725.2467.


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CMS has issued its long-awaited final rule on enforcement of Civil Monetary Penalties regarding failing to register and accurately provide Mandatory Insurance Reporting on those payments that meet the $750 Section 111 reporting thresholds for payments for ongoing Workers’ Compensation (WC) and No Fault claims (Ongoing Responsibility for Medicals or ORM) as well as settlements, judgments, and awards from any primary plan such as any type of liability payment whether insured or self-insured, WC, or No Fault (Total Payment Obligation to Claimant or TPOC). 

The CMS Alert on the topic can be viewed here. CMS’s description is that “CMS has finalized its rule specifying how and when CMS will calculate and impose civil money penalties (CMPs) when group health plan (GHP) and non-group health plan (NGHP) responsible reporting entities (RREs) fail to meet their Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) reporting obligations. The text of the final rule can be found and reviewed in its entirety in the Federal Register, which can be found at https://www.federalregister.gov. The date of publication in the Federal Register will be October 11, 2023 (with an effective date of December 11, 2023) and will become applicable to primary plans and their RRE’s October 11, 2024. This document is able to be viewed online at, and on https://federalregister.gov/d/2023-22282 and on https://govinfo.gov. 

On September 11, 2023, CMS declared this then proposed rule to not be economically significant (i.e. not adversely affect the economy in a material way) clearing the way for the rule’s promulgation.  

Take Aways 

Medivest has been expecting this rule for years.  Most primary plan payers have Responsible Reporting Entities (RRE’s) in place and have established a method of collecting and transmitting the required Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSP) data to CMS electronically as intended by the Mandatory Insurance Reporting section (most commonly referred to as Section 111) of the MSP’s MMSEA amendment. Those primary plan carriers and entities that have not established a formalized Section 111 reporting process should be making plans to comply now to avoid the long-awaited enforcement penalties.  Additionally, as a result of the final rule coming to fruition after clearing the administrative economic impact process, claimants’ and plaintiffs’ attorneys may likely see more language added by the defense (primary plans) to hold the injured party responsible to provide and/or confirm correct data during the pendency of claims and certainly at the time of settlement of claims, and to timely respond for updates when requested from time to time, if the primary plan’s Section 111 report has been rejected by CMS due to identification data errors so the primary plan can correct same and avert any CMP.  Parties should work with their MSP compliance partners and attorneys to make sure procedures are compliant with the MSP and not asking parties to go beyond the MSP or its regulatory rulemaking requirements. 

For Additional Information 

Medivest will continue to monitor changes occurring at CMS and will keep its readers up to date when such changes are announced. For questions, feel free to reach out to the Medivest representative in your area by clicking here or call us direct at 877.725.2467. 


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14/Sep/2023

On September 13th 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an upcoming increase to the maximum settlement amount for the Fixed Percentage Demand Calculation Option.

When settling a liability or workers’ compensation case, a beneficiary, or their attorney (or other representative) may request that Medicare’s demand amount be calculated using the Fixed Percentage Option. Currently the total settlement amount for the Fixed Percentage Option cannot exceed $5,000. Effective October 2, 2023, the maximum settlement amount will be raised to $10,000.

What is the Fixed Percentage Option?

The Fixed Percentage Option offers a simple, straightforward process to obtain the amount due to Medicare. It eliminates time and resources typically associated with the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) recovery process since you will not have to wait for Medicare to determine the conditional payment amount prior to settlement. The Fixed Percentage Option may be elected, if the following eligibility criteria are met:

      • The liability insurance (including self-insurance) settlement, judgment, award or other payment is related to an alleged physical trauma- based incident and;
      • The total settlement is for $5,000 (Note this amount will be raised to $10,000, effective October 2, 2023) or less.
      • You elect the option within the required timeframe and Medicare has not issued a demand letter or other request for reimbursement related to the incident.
      • You have not received and do not expect to receive any other settlements, judgments, awards, or other payments related to the incident.

For More Information

For additional information on the Fixed Percentage Option, please see the Fixed Percentage Option Presentation and the Fixed Percentage Model Language at CMS.Gov and consult the Downloads Section. To learn more about protecting the medical portion of your clients’ workers’ compensation and liability settlements, contact Medivest about Medicare Set-Aside Professional Administration.


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25/Jul/2023

On July 19, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released their list of the Top 10 Section 111 Non-Group Health Plan Reporting Errors between January 1 – June 30, 2023. The chart with the list of errors and their rank can be viewed below. A downloadable PDF of this chart cane be found at the CMS website here.

Medivest will continue to monitor news and updates from CMS, and will keep its readers up to date when important announcements are made. For questions about this chart or any other recent updates, feel free to reach out to the Medivest representative in your area by clicking here or call us direct at 877.725.2467.


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07/Jun/2023

On June 5, 2023 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated the MMSEA Section 111 NGHP User Guide version 7.2. It has been posted to the NGHP User Guide page on CMS.gov.  The NGHP User Guide version 7.2 replaces Version 7.1 which was released on April 4, 2023.

To download the updated MMSEA Section 111 NGHP User Guide 7.2 click here.

Who Must Report

An organization that must report under Section 111 is referred to as a responsible reporting entity (RRE). In general terms, NGHP RREs include liability insurers, no-fault insurers, and workers’ compensation plans and insurers. RREs may also be organizations that are self-insured with respect to liability insurance, no-fault insurance, and workers’ compensation.

What’s New – 7.2 Version

New information regarding Mandatory Insurer Reporting for Non-Group Health Plans (NGHPs) and NGHP Town Hall Events is posted here as it becomes available.

MMSEA III – June 6, 2023 – NGHP User Guide 7.2 Version Updates

    1. Chapter I: Introduction and Overview
    2. Chapter II: Registration Procedures
    3. Chapter III: Policy Guidance
    4. Chapter IV: Technical Information
    5. Chapter V: Appendices
    6. 270/271 Health Care Eligibility Benefit Inquiry and Response Companion Guide for Mandatory Reporting NGHP Entities, Version 5.8
  1. Chapter I: Introduction and Overview – Updates

The updates listed below have been made to the Introduction and Overview Chapter Version 7.2 of the NGHP User Guide. As indicated on prior Section 111 NGHP Town Hall teleconferences, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continue to review reporting requirements and will post any applicable updates in the form of revisions to Alerts and the user guide as necessary. There are no version updates to this chapter.

  1. Chapter II: Registration Procedures – Updates

The update listed below has been made to the Registration Procedures Chapter Version 7.2 of the NGHP User Guide. As indicated on prior Section 111 NGHP Town Hall teleconferences, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continue to review reporting requirements and will post any applicable updates in the form of revisions to Alerts and the user guide as necessary. There are no version updates to this chapter.

  1. Chapter III: Policy Guidance – Updates

The updates listed below have been made to the Policy Guidance Chapter Version 7.2 of the NGHP User Guide. As indicated on prior Section 111 NGHP Town Hall teleconferences, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continue to review reporting requirements and will post any applicable updates in the form of revisions to Alerts and the user guide as necessary. The guidance on determining the ORM termination date based on a physician statement has been clarified (Section 6.3.2). Guidance on what triggers the need to report ORM has been clarified (Sections 6.3 and 6.5.1.1).

  1. Chapter IV: Technical Information – Updates

The updates listed below have been made to the Technical Information Chapter Version 7.2 of the NGHP User Guide. As indicated on prior Section 111 NGHP Town Hall teleconferences, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continue to review reporting requirements and will post any applicable updates in the form of revisions to Alerts and the user guide, as necessary. The NGHP Unsolicited Response File format has been simplified, and filename formats have been added (Section 7.5 and Chapter 10). For liability claims, it is now optional to report ‘NOINJ’ codes in certain circumstances (Section 6.2.5.2).

  1. Chapter 5: Appendices – Updates

The updates listed below have been made to the Appendices Chapter Version 7.2 of the NGHP User Guide. As indicated on prior Section 111 NGHP Town Hall teleconferences, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continue to review reporting requirements and will post any applicable updates in the form of revisions to Alerts and the user guide as necessary. The end-of-line character has been clarified for files using HEW software (Appendix E). The NGHP Unsolicited Response File layout has been simplified (Appendix F).

  1. 270/271 Health Care Eligibility Benefit Inquiry and Response Companion Guide for Mandatory Reporting NGHP Entities, Version 5.8 – Changes for this Release

The updates listed below have been made to the Appendices Chapter Version 7.2 of the NGHP User Guide. As indicated on prior Section 111 NGHP Town Hall teleconferences, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continue to review reporting requirements and will post any applicable updates in the form of revisions to Alerts and the user guide as necessary. The end-of-line character has been clarified for files using HEW software (Appendix E). The NGHP Unsolicited Response File layout has been simplified (Appendix F).

For Additional Information

Medivest will continue to monitor changes occurring at CMS and will keep its readers up to date when such changes are announced. For questions, feel free to reach out to the Medivest representative in your area by clicking here or call us direct at 877.725.2467.


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31/May/2023

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a revised Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-Aside Arrangement (WCMSAReference Guide (“Reference Guide”) Version 3.9 on May 15, 2023. This Reference Guide replaces Version 3.8 which was released on November 14, 2022. There are a few notable changes when comparing the two Reference Guides.

To download the new WCMSA Reference Guide v3.9 Click Here.

CMS’s Version 3.9 Reference Guide

Section 1.1 includes the following changes:

    • All WC letters currently signed with CMS’ Director of Financial Services Group name and signature image have been updated to reflect the current CMS customer service contact information (Appendix 5).
    • The CMS Regional Offices are no longer responsible for approving initial determinations. Process language and contact information have been updated throughout the guide (Sections 9.0, 9.4.6, 9.5, and 18.0, and Appendix 5).
    • Clarification has been provided regarding intrathecal pump, spinal cord stimulator, and peripheral nerve stimulator replacement frequency calculation (Section 9.4.5).
    • The maximum time limit for eligibility has been removed from the Amended Review process (Section 16.3).
    • The 94585 ZIP code has been added to the Walnut Creek Medical Center in the table listing major medical centers (Appendix 7).
    • The CDC Life Table link was updated (Section 10.3)

 

Appendix 5: CMS Customer Service Contact Signature Image Updated to All WC Letters

All WC letters currently signed with CMS’ Director of Financial Services Group name and signature image have been updated to reflect the current CMS customer service contact information (Appendix 5).  The following letters have been updated:

  • Approval Letter
  • Zero Set-Aside Letter
  • Below Threshold Letter
  • Beneficiary Below Threshold Letter
  • Development Letter
  • Closeout Letter

 

CMS Regional Offices No Longer Responsible for Approving Initial Determinations

The CMS Regional Offices are no longer responsible for approving initial determinations. Process language and contact information have been updated throughout the guide (Sections 9.0, 9.4.6, 9.5, and 18.0, and Appendix 5). Clarification has been provided regarding intrathecal pump, spinal cord stimulator, and peripheral nerve stimulator replacement frequency calculation (Section 9.4.5). The maximum time limit for eligibility has been removed from the Amended Review process (Section 16.3). The 94585 ZIP code has been added to the Walnut Creek Medical Center in the table listing major medical centers (Appendix 7). The CDC Life Table link was updated (Section 10.3).

9.0 Updates: Process Language and Contract Information

WCMSA Submission Process Overview
  • 3.8 version: The WCRC applies the CMS’ criteria in reviewing proposals and forwards the proposals along with a recommendation on the appropriate funding amount to the assigned CMS Regional Office (RO) for a final determination.
  • 3.9 version: The WCRC applies CMS’ criteria in reviewing proposals and making a determination, forwards the final determination on the appropriate funding amount to CMS.

 

9.5 Updates: Regional Office Receipt to Determinations

  • 3.8 version: Regional Office Receipt

When the WCRC completes its review and recommendation, the case is sent to the RO assigned to the case based on the claimant’s state of residence and CMS’ state and region logic. Although the RO assignment is based on the state of residence of the beneficiary, a case may be transferred from one RO to another based on the case’s legal state of venue, or because the RO that the case was originally assigned to no longer processes WCMSA cases. When the RO receives the case, they review the WCRC recommendation and make a final determination in the case.

  • 3.9 version: Determinations

*The update pertains to cases may not progress to approvals for a number of reasons, basically switches the responsibility from the Regional Office (RO) over to the Workers’ Compensation Review Contractor (WCRC).

New Language Added
      • The WCRC may determine that the case should be closed. This can happen for a number of reasons, included: the parties are not longer settling, the case should be Black Lung instead of WC, the case is Liability rather than WC case, or the submitted has failed to submit necessary information after repeated development requests.  The submitted is notified of the case closure for ineligible cases closed for insufficient information.
      • When the WCRC completes its review and recommendation, CMS issues its determination in the form of an Approval letter to the submitter with copies sent to any eligible parties. Then the case is transferred to the Consolidated Regional Office to await receipt of the settlement documents so that the case may move to Final Determination/Case Completion.

     

9.6 Updates:  From Final Determination to Case Completion

  • 3.8 version: Final Determination

If the claimant is living, the case meets workload review threshold, any needed development has been received, and the case is not closed for other reasons, the RO reviews the WCRC’s recommendation and makes a determination as to the final CMS-approved WCMSA amount.

  • 3.9 version: Case Completion

If the claimant is living, the case meets workload review thresholds, any needed development has been received, the case is not closed for other reasons, and the WCRC’s recommendations have been provided, then an approval letter is issued to the submitter with a determination as to the final CMS-approved WCMSA amount.

9.4.5 Clarifications: Medical Review Guidelines

Intrathecal Pumps
  • 3.8 version: Permanent placement of IT pump devices are included every 7 years: the claimant’s life expectancy is divided by 7, decimals are dropped, and the whole number Is used for determining replacement over the life expectancy.
  • 3.9 version: CMS policy assumes that a beneficiary would obtain the prescribed therapy within the first year following settlement if not already placed, or at the next routine interval for replacement.  The routine replacement interval for IT pump devices is every seven years from the most recent placement date.  If the IT pump is not already placed, one year is removed from the life expectancy before the replacement calculation occurs to account for that initial replacement.  To calculate the number of replacements, the claimant’s life expectancy less the number of years from the most recent placement date is divided by seven, decimals are dropped, and the whole number is used for determining replacement over the life expectancy.
Examples:
        • Beneficiary life expectancy is 21 years and no IT pump is yet placed. Take the 21 years, subtract one year for the initial placement, divide the remainder by seven, and use the whole number with that result.
        • (21-1)/7 = 20/7 = 2.86
        • One initial placement is needed, plus 2 replacements.
        • Beneficiary life expectancy is 12 years and an IT pump was placed three years prior. Take the 12 years, subtract four years for the most recent placement, divide the remainder by seven, and use the whole number with that result.
        • (12-4)/7 = 8/7 = 1.14 One replacement is needed.

         

 Spinal Cord Stimulators
  • 3.8 version: Permanent placements of SCS devices are included every 7 years for non-rechargeable and every 9 years for rechargeable: the claimant’s life expectancy is divided by the frequency of replacement of type, decimals are dropped, and the whole number is used for determining replacement over the life expectancy.
  • 3.9 version: CMS policy assumes that a beneficiary would obtain the prescribed therapy within the first year following settlement if not already placed, or at the next routine interval for replacement.  The routine replacement interval for SCS devices is every seven years for non-rechargeable and every nine years for rechargeable from the most recent placement date.  If the SCS is not already place, one year is removed from the life expectance before replacement calculation occurs to account for that initial placement. To calculate the number of replacements, the claimant’s life expectancy less the number of years from the most recent placement date is divided by seven (or nice, depending on the unit type), decimals are dropped, and the whole number is used for determining replacement over the life expectancy.
Examples:
        • Beneficiary life expectancy is 33 years and no SCS is yet placed, but a non-rechargeable unit is appropriate. Take the 33 years, subtract one year for the initial placement, divide the remainder by seven, and use the whole number with that result.
        • (33-1)/7 = 32/7 = 4.57
        • One initial placement is needed, and 4 replacements are needed.
        • Beneficiary life expectancy is 17 years, subtract six years for the most recent placement, divide the remainder by seven, and use the whole number with that result.
        • (17-6)/7 = 11/7 = 1.57
        • One replacement is needed.

         

Pricing for Peripheral Nerve Stimulator (PNS) Surgery

(PNS) Surgery PNS surgery involves the placement of an electrode(s) in the direct vicinity of a specific peripheral nerve located outside the brain or spinal cord, thereby directly stimulating the painful peripheral nerve. CMS policy assumes that a beneficiary would obtain the prescribed therapy within the first year following settlement if not already placed, or at the next routine interval for replacement. The routine replacement interval for PNS devices is every seven years for non-rechargeable and every nine years for rechargeable from the most recent placement date. If the PNS is not already placed, one year is removed from the life expectancy before replacement calculation occurs to account for that initial placement. To calculate the number of replacements, the claimant’s life expectancy less the number of years from the most recent placement date is divided by seven (or nine, depending on unit type), decimals are dropped, and the whole number is used for determining replacement over the life expectancy. PNS replacement calculations are done the same as for SCS surgeries.

Examples:
        • Beneficiary life expectancy is 27 years and no PNS is yet placed, but a non-rechargeable unit is appropriate. Take the 21 years, subtract one year for the initial placement, divide the remainder by seven, and use the whole number with that result.
        • (27-1)/7 = 26/7 = 3.71
        • One initial placement is needed, and three replacements are needed.
        • Beneficiary life expectancy is 15 years and a rechargeable PNS was placed two years prior. Take the 15 years, subtract two years for the most recent placement, divide the remainder by seven, and use the whole number with that result. (15-2)/7 = 13/7 = 1.86
        • One replacement is needed.
        • Surgery pricing includes physician fees, facility fees, and anesthesia fees, if applicable.
        • Physician fees: CPT codes are identified and priced based on the appropriate state fee schedule (or usual and customary charges from a state).
            • 64555, Percutaneous implantation of neurostimulator electrode; peripheral nerve
            • 64555, Percutaneous implantation of neurostimulator electrode array; peripheral nerve (excludes sacral nerve)
            • 64590, Insertion or replacement of peripheral or gastric neurostimulator generator
            • 01941, Anesthesia
        • Facility fee: Generally, this procedure is handled in an outpatient setting. The appropriate APC should be included based upon surgery type.
            • 5462, Stimulator Trial
            • 5464, Stimulator Placement
            • 5464, Stimulator Replacement Consider the number of leads to be used.
        • Analysis Services: CPT 96972 can be billed every 30 days and more frequently in the first month. It should be priced four times in the first 30 days, monthly for the first year, and twice a year after the first year.
            • 95972 – Electronic analysis of implanted neurostimulator pulse generator system (e.g., rate, pulse amplitude, pulse duration, configuration of wave form, battery status, electrode selectability, output modulation, cycling, impedance, and patient compliance measurements); complex spinal cord, or peripheral (i.e., peripheral nerve, sacral nerve, neuromuscular, except cranial nerve) neurostimulator pulse generator/transmitter, with intraoperative or subsequent programming.
        • Anesthesia fee: The anesthesia fee is calculated by multiplying the time-value unit by a base value. The time-value unit is the reasonable time for a procedure. The base value is either established by the fee schedule, or by Medicare and conversion factors.
        • Trials: If an associated trial takes place before the surgery, the trial is assumed to be successful and included with the cost of surgery. PNS is one time after trial, if successful. If a trial fails, a repeat trial is usually not appropriate unless there are extenuating circumstances that led to the trial failure (equipment malfunction, early lead migration, etc.), technological advances, or an alternative neuromodulary technique that may lead to a more successful second trial (see LCD L34328). If submitters give a detailed breakdown of their proposed surgery prices, the reviewer will consider the proposed amounts.

         

16.3 Updates: Amended Review

  • 3.8 version: CMS has issued a conditional approval/approved amount at least 12 but no more that 72 months prior.
  • 3.9 version: CMS has issued a conditional approval/approved amount at least 12 months prior.

 

For Additional Information

Medivest will continue to monitor changes occurring at CMS and will keep its readers up to date when such changes are announced. For questions, feel free to reach out to the Medivest representative in your area by clicking here or call us direct at 877.725.2467.


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22/May/2023

On Tuesday, June 6th, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be hosting a webinar regarding the upcoming implementation of the Section 111 NGHP Unsolicited Response File option. The full notice can be read below:

 


 

Section 111 Non-Group Health Plan (NGHP) Unsolicited Response File Webinar Tuesday June 6, 2023

Mandatory Reporting for Liability Insurance (including Self-Insurance), No-Fault Insurance and Workers’ Compensation

CMS will be hosting a webinar regarding the upcoming implementation of the Section 111 NGHP Unsolicited Response File option. The format will be opening remarks by CMS, a presentation that will include background as well as how to opt in and what to expect, followed by a question and answer session. For questions regarding this topic, prior to the webinar, please utilize the Section 111 Resource Mailbox PL110- 173SEC111-comments@cms.hhs.gov.

Date:                                 June 6, 2023
Time:                                 1:00 PM ET

Webinar Link: https://cms.zoomgov.com/j/1601170809?pwd=YU1YN3BGYjhKWTNBR3AyT3o4emFWQT09

Passcode:                          558113

Or to connect via phone

Conference Dial In:           1-833-568-8864
Conference Passcode:     160 117 0809

Due to the number of expected participants please log in at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the presentation.


 

Additional information about recent updates from CMS can be found here. If you have questions on how topics discussed in this webinar may affect your clients, please contact Medivest here or call us at 877.725.2467.

 


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29/Mar/2023

On March 8th, 2023, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), via Deputy Administrator and Director Daniel Tsai, offered its first official notification regarding the Gallardo v. Marstiller U.S. Supreme Court ruling to all state Medicaid agencies. The notification reiterates the requirement of state Medicaid agencies to recover their injury-related payments (liens) from settlement funds. It informs them that now those lien payment recoveries can be recovered from any portion of settlement funds designated as compensation for medicals. This includes funds considered to be compensation for future medicals of a Medicaid member.

 

A Brief Review of Gallardo v. Marstiller

In 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) took on the case of Gallardo v. Marstiller. At question was whether Florida’s Medicaid program was only entitled to be reimbursed for the money it spent for a Medicaid beneficiary’s past medicals from both the portion of the settlement that represents future medical expenses and past medical expenses or only from the portion of the settlement allocated as past medicals.  The SCOTUS affirmed 7-2 that the Medicaid Act permits a State to seek reimbursement from settlement payments allocated for future medical care in addition to payments allocated to past medicals.

Medivest followed the case and decision closely in 2022, and documented the details and some new questions that the decision opened up. One of those questions was, would state Medicaid agencies and their recovery agents become more aggressive in pursuing their reimbursement/lien recoveries from any and all medical damages paid in settlements?  The letter from the Deputy Administrator and Director, RE: Third-Party Liability in Medicaid: State Compliance with Changes Required in Law and Court Rulings, seems to indicate that the answer is yes.

 

CMS Letter – SMD # 23-002

In the letter from the Deputy Administrator and Director, the Gallardo ruling is referenced as reason for pursuing past medical payments (i.e. liens) from the future medical portions of a settlement or past medical portions of a settlement.  Additionally, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (CAA, 2022; P.L. 117-103) is referenced. This requires states to have laws in effect that bar liable third-party payers from refusing payment for an item or service solely on the basis that such item or service did not receive prior authorization under the third-party payer’s rules.

It is worth mentioning, the letter does not expand the law. It is CMS’s attempt to help remind the various state Medicaid agencies of their ongoing obligation to recover their liens and that now, post Gallardo, they may reach into any medicals to recover those liens. The full letter can be read here.

 

Questions Regarding Lien Resolution?

Medivest will continue to assist injured parties by auditing Medicaid lien payment ledgers to confirm only injury-related payments are reimbursed, and in negotiating the resolution of any Medicaid liens from traditional Medicaid lien holders and privately administered Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) health plans. We are always working to find ways to reasonably reduce the overall reimbursement for the injured parties.

For additional questions regarding lien resolution, please contact us here.


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