Posts Tagged EOB

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My Notes on the March 22, 2011 CMS Open Door Forum on Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRI) for the Beginner

Very scary

Today’s CMS Open Door Forum was a good one. The slides (pdf here), although reviewed quickly during the call, are a comprehensive resource for anyone needing in-depth information on qualifying for incentives through PQRI. The information is complex, but anyone can start the process tomorrow and successfully get their check (next year.)

PQRI has been renamed PQRS.

These are the key points of the information presented:

  1. You can tell if you are eligible for the incentive program by checking the main PQRS site here. Scroll down to Downloads and click on “List of Eligible Professionals.”
  2. There is no registration required to report quality data.
  3. PQRS should not be confused with incentives offered for ePrescribing or meaningful use of a certified Electronic Health Record – these are three distinct systems.
  4. There are new Physician Quality Reporting Measure Specifications every year – use the correct year.
  5. Reporting can be done as individual eligible providers or as groups, however groups needed to be self-nominated by January 31, 2011, so that door is closed for this year.
  6. Eligible providers can choose to report for 12 months: January 1”“December 31, 2011 or for 6 months: July 1-December 31, 2011 (claims and registry-based reporting only.)
  7. There are two reporting methods for submission of measures groups that involve a patient sample selection: 30-patient sample method and 50% patient sample method. An “intent G-code” must be submitted for either method to initiate intent to report measures groups via claims. If a patient selected for inclusion in the 30-patient sample did not receive all the quality actions and that patient returns at a subsequent encounter, QDC(s) may be added (where applicable) to the subsequent claim to indicate that the quality action was performed during the reporting period.
    Physician Quality Reporting analysis will consider all QDCs submitted across multiple claims for patients included in the 30-patient samples.
  8. Eligible professionals who have contracted with Medicare Advantage (MA) health plans should not include their MA patients in claims-based reporting of measures groups using the 30 unique patient sample method. Only Medicare Part B FFS patients (primary and secondary coverage including Railroad Medicare) should be included in claims-based reporting of measures groups.
  9. Choose which group measures OR individual measures (3 minimum) you want to report on based on your method of reporting. Review your choices here.
  10. If you plan to report using a registry or EHR, make sure the systems are qualified by checking here.
  11. Here is the schedule for PQRS incentives and “payment adjustments” (financial dings.)
  • Incentives (based on the eligible professional’s or group’s estimated total Medicare Part B PFS allowed charges)
    • 2007 ”“1.5% subject to a cap
    • 2008 ”“1.5%
    • 2009, 2010  ”“2.0%
    • 2011 ”“1%
    • 2012, 2013, 2014 ”“0.5%
  • Payment Adjustments (you lose money)
    • 2015 ”“98.5%
    • 2016 and subsequent years ”“98.0%

What follows are the Questions and Answers from the listeners.

Q: Do PQRS measures need to be reported once per encounter or once per episode?

A: It depends on the measure. Check the list to see what each measure requires.

Q: Is there a code to submit if we cannot qualify due to low numbers of Medicare patients?

A: No, CMS will calculate this and will know you cannot qualify and you will be exempt from the payment adjustment.

Q: Can both admitting physicians and consulting physicians submit the same quality codes?

A: Yes, all eligible providers working with a patient can report the same code if appropriate.

Q: How do we know if we qualified for the eRx incentive for 2010?

A: Payments will come early fall and feedback reports will be available that break down each provider’s incentive.

Q: For the eRx incentive, is it 10 eRxs before June 30, 2011 and 25 before January 31, 2011 for each PROVIDER or each PRACTICE?

A: Each provider.

Q: What is the difference between the numerator and the denominator in PQRS?

A: The numerator is the clinical quality action (for instance, putting a patient on a beta blocker) and the denominator is the group of patients for whom the quality action applies (which patients with appropriate diagnoses are eligible for beta blocker therapy.)

Q: Do all the preventive measures in this group have to be utilized?

A: Not all measures will apply to all patients, for instance mammograms for females only.

Q: Is there a code to be placed on the claim that says a measure is not applicable for this patient?

A: No.

Q: How do you know if a measure code on a claim has been accepted?

A: You will receive a rejection code on your EOB that indicates the code was submitted for information purposes only. Remittance Advice (RA) with denial code N365 is your indication that Physician Quality Reporting codes were passed into the National Claims History (NCH) file for use in calculating incentive eligibility.

Q: How can a new provider get started with quality reporting?

A: Any provider can start any time by reporting through claims, a registry or an EHR.

Q: Should providers bill for PQRI under their individual number or under their group number?

A: Under their individual number.

Q: Can a physician delegate the eRx process to a staff member, just as they might have a nurse write a prescription for them?

A: Yes.

Q: Can you clarify the three incentive programs and which a practice can participate in at the same time?

A: The Physician Quality Reporting System, eRx Incentive Program, and EHR Incentive Program are three distinctly separate CMS programs.

The Physician Quality Reporting System incentive can be received regardless of an eligible professional’s participation in the other programs.

There are three ways to participate in the EHR Incentive Program: through Medicare, Medicare Advantage, or Medicaid.

If participating in the EHR Incentive Program through the Medicaid option, eligible professionals are able to also receive the eRx incentive.

If participating in the Medicare or Medicare Advantage options for the EHR Incentive Program, eligible professionals can still report the eRx measure but are only eligible to receive one incentive payment. Eligible professionals successfully participating in both programs will receive the EHR incentive.

Eligible professionals should continue to report the eRx measure in 2011 even if their practice is also participating in the Medicare or Medicare Advantage EHR Incentive Program because claims data for the first six months of 2011 will be analyzed to determine if a 2012 eRx Payment Adjustment will apply to the eligible professional.

If an eligible professional successfully generates and reports electronically prescribing 25 times (at least 10 of which are in the first 6 months of 2011 and submitted via claims to CMS) for eRx measure denominator eligible services, (s)he would also be exempt from the 2013 eRx payment adjustment.

The transcript and a recording of today’s call will be posted on the CMS website within a few weeks.

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Posted in: Day-to-Day Operations, Medicare & Reimbursement

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Standard Operating Procedure: How To Make A Bank Deposit

The Bank Deposit Slip

I am writing this post in response to seeing a lot of questions recently about making deposits.  (If you are looking for information about making personal bank deposits, go to the top of the page and click on the Lexicon and look for “Bank Deposits.”)  Even if you know how to make a deposit, you could copy this post into a word document and with a few changes, use it for a protocol for your office.  So, here goes:

  1. Make sure all mail and checks that you receive are for your practice.  It’s easier and less costly to return it to the sender if you catch the mistake on the front end, instead of refunding it after it has been deposited in error.
  2. Open the mail and separate the checks into four piles: (a) all insurance and other non-patient checks, (b) all patient checks, (c) all correspondence from insurance companies without checks, such as denials, “no-pays”, and requests for additional information, and (d) patient credit card payments..  Run two adding machine tapes each on the insurance check pile and the patient check pile to get an accurate total.
  3. Some practices receive checks for medical records, depositions, honorariums, call pay, etc. and handle these monies outside of the standard deposit protocol.  Other practices handle them as a part of the process and post everything to a patient account or a dummy account specifically for non-service related revenue.  Either way is fine if it works for your practice.
  4. Give the credit card payments to the person in your office who processes credit cards, and have them add these payments to your other credit card payments from over the counter.  Once the credit card payments are successfully processed, give them to the billing clerk to post to the patient account on the computer.  Be sure to always post patient payments ASAP (over the counter and mail) so patients don’t inadvertently receive a bill from the practice that does not reflect their recent payment.
  5. Give the insurance company correspondence to a billing clerk to process after stamping the date on each first page.
  6. If your office is big enough, split the duties between three people of (a) opening the mail and running two matching adding machine totals on the checks, (b) preparing the deposit and running a third matching tape total, and (c) posting the checks.  Make sure all adding machines are set to count the number of items and that item numbers match on all tapes.
  7. Paperclip each check to its documentation.  Recycle the envelopes.  Some detailed people keep the envelopes with the patient checks until matching the address on the check and on the envelope and on the statement stub in case the patient has moved.
  8. Stamp today’s date on the paperwork and EOBs (Explanation of Benefits) that accompany the insurance checks. Give the EOBs and one tape to a billing clerk to post.
  9. There are two schools of thought at this point.  One school believes that no check should be deposited without first posting it to the patient’s account in the computer.  A second school (to which I belong) believes that the money should go right into the bank, and post the payments to the accounts within 2 business days.
  10. Some offices have the technology to scan all deposits and all EOBs, and some offices will choose to photocopy checks to use as reference documents.  Some banks offer online images of deposited checks.  Refer to my post on lockboxes and remote deposits for other options.
  11. Separate all insurance checks from their EOBs and stamp the back of the check (on the correct end) with your bank deposit information.  Separate the patient checks from the statement stubs and stamp the back of the checks with your bank deposit information. Give the statement stubs to a billing clerk to post the patient payments, checking first that the information on the stub and the check match, including the amount paid.
  12. Deposit slips are carbonless and each deposit uses a set of two slips: one goes to the bank and one stays in the book.  Look in the back of the book for the piece of cardboard that you use to slide behind the two slips to keep the writing from bleeding through.
  13. Date the deposit slip.  If you happened to have received cash in the mail, add the total of the cash where indicated on the slip.  Run a third adding machine tape for the insurance checks and the patient checks, verifying the correct amounts, and fill in a total for each category (I do not recommend you list each check separately!), totaling at the bottom of the page, and filling in the number of items.  Most deposit slips also have a place to fill in the total on one side of the deposit slip.
  14. Most banks charge by the number of deposits, so it is typical to make one large deposit, regardless of the number of checks in the deposit.  Tear the top copy of the deposit slip off, put it on top of the checks, paperclip or rubber band the stack together and take it to the bank.
  15. Once you’ve made the deposit, bring the receipt back and tape it on the back of the deposit slip copy in the deposit book.  Enter the amount of the deposit into your accounting system (Quickbooks, Peachtree, Great Plains, etc.)
  16. Rest until tomorrow’s mail arrives

Note: smaller or larger offices may use a simplified or a more sophistocated version of this process.  Feel free to comment and let me know how you do it!

Posted in: Day-to-Day Operations, Finance

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