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  • Savvy Coder

    Multiple Testing Services—Understand the Changes

    Written By: Sue Vicchrilli, COT, OCS, Academy Coding Executive

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    This year, CMS announced a multiple procedure payment reduction (MPPR) that impacts 27 ophthalmic testing codes. It affects payment for those codes’ technical component (–TC), which represents performance of the test, equipment used, and cost of supplies.

    How does the MPPR work? When multiple tests from the list of affected codes (see "27 Testing Codes Affected") are performed on the same patient on the same date of service, the test with the highest –TC value is reimbursed in full, but payment for the –TC of the second and subsequent tests is reduced by 20 percent. The reduction is calculated automatically, regardless of whether you appended the –TC and –26 modifiers.

    What’s the Payment? 

    Use these six scenarios to test your awareness of MPPR’s impact on your practice. When the following services are performed on the same day on the same patient, do you know which would be reimbursed in full and which would be hit by the 20 percent reduction to –TC reimbursement?

    Q1. Exam and visual field (VF).

    a) 100 percent for exam and VF. 

    b) 100 percent for exam; –TC reduction for VF.

    Q2. Exam, OCT, and subsequent ophthalmoscopy (SO) on the right eye.

    a) 100 percent for exam and SO; –TC reduction for OCT. 

    b) 100 percent for exam, OCT, and SO.

    Q3. Exam, SCODI, VF, and pachymetry.

    a) 100 percent for exam, VF, and SCODI; –TC reduction for pachymetry. 

    b) 100 percent for exam and VF; –TC reduction for SCODI and pachymetry.

    Q4. Exam, fluorescein angiography (FA), and fundus photography. Pathology is in both eyes.

    a) 100 percent for exam and FA of one eye; –TC reduction for FA of second eye and fundus photography. 

    b) 100 percent for exam and FA of both eyes; –TC reduction for fundus photography.

    Q5. VF (92083) and fundus photography.

    a) 100 percent for fundus photography; –TC reduction for VF. 

    b) 100 percent for VF; –TC reduction for fundus photography.

    Q6. Exam, VF (92081), and external ocular photography.

    a) 100 percent for exam and VF; –TC reduction for ocular photography. 

    b) 100 percent for exam and ocular photography; –TC reduction for VF.

    ___________________________

    Answers: Q1—a; Q2—b; Q3—b; Q4—a; Q5—a; Q6—a or b same –TC for VF and photo. 

    27 Testing Codes Affected

    The MPPR applies to 27 ophthalmic testing codes:

    76510 Ultrasound

    76511 Ultrasound, A-scan only

    76512 Ultrasound, diagnostic; B-scan

    76513 Anterior segment ultrasound

    76514 Pachymetry

    76516 Biometry

    76519 A-scan

    92025 Topography

    92060 Sensorimotor exam

    92081 Visual field

    92082 Visual field, intermediate examination

    92083 Visual field, extended examination

    92132 Anterior segment SCODI

    92133 SCODI

    92134 OCT

    92136 A-scan

    92228 Remote imaging

    92235 Fluorescein angiography

    92240 ICG

    92250 Fundus photo

    92265 Needle oculoelectromyography

    92270 Electro-oculography

    92275 Electroretinography

    92283 Color vision

    92284 Dark adaptation

    92285 External ocular photography

    92286 Special anterior segment photography