January 25, 2022 – Insurance Update for Chiropractors
The KAC leadership continues to work hard on your behalf. Many of these updates were given in-person at our 2022 LB Payne Insurance Update. We wanted to send a follow up email reminding KAC members of these changes.
Remember, if you are experiencing any issues, please reach out to KAC’s dedicated insurance email: firstname.lastname@example.org
First, our lobbying team has met with Anthem’s new lobbyist, and we continue working with Anthem executives. Anthem executives have met several times over the last month to discuss chiropractic issues specifically. We have been told that chiropractic claims that have been impacted by these recoupments are in the process of being reversed. KAC leadership is sitting down with Anthem leadership later this week to further discuss. Please stay tuned for another Anthem specific update later this week or early next week. Thank you to everyone who participated in our Anthem recoupment letter survey that was sent out in late November. This has helped to provide data on the recoupment issue chiropractors were facing around the state.
Secondly, Anthem has stated that in November, they deployed an edit that was meant to deny claim lines when ICD-10-CM laterality diagnosis coding guidelines were not followed. They state, “While the concept of the edit is valid—with claims not following the guidelines denying correctly—the edit’s execution also created multiple erroneous denials on Medicaid claims across multiple markets.”
We are told this issue has been escalated, and a project has been initiated to reprocess the claims that denied in error. They’ve estimated reprocessing to be completed by the beginning of February.
It has come up in discussion with Caresource that claims may not be processing correctly for chiropractors for at least the last 12-months. We are in the process of collecting data to see how wide-spread this may be for the state of Kentucky. If you have not already taken our 4-question survey, please do so. The survey will close February 3, 2022 as we meet again with Caresource in early February to discuss the findings. This survey was a direct request of Caresource.
We may be asking for additional examples of claims not being paid, etc. after our next meeting with Caresource, please stay tuned.
There were checks that were issued on January 4th, 5th & 6th which did not contain a payee name from Passport. These checks will be declined if you try to deposit them most likely resulting in a fee from your bank. Passport is reissuing the checks. If you incur bank fees related to this, Passport will reimburse you – you will need to send an email to: email@example.com to let them know of the bank fee.
Reminder of the changes that started January 17, 2022 to allow for 2 business days to submit for prior authorization.
Starting October 1, 2021 Humana changed its policy and started requiring prior authorization for chiropractic services. One of the biggest challenges this presented to our patients was providers were only given the day of service to submit the request. Many of our members contacted the KAC and said this is the number one problem they had with this policy change. The Insurance Relations Committee met with Humana executives and after our conversations they have decided to allow doctors to submit your requests up to two business days after the date of service. We are told this policy will take effect starting January 17, 2022. Please watch your email and/or mail for a notice directly from Humana and Tivity. While we know this is not a perfect solution, it does ease the burden on office staff and solve one of the biggest provider concerns.
Reminder the Medicare has updated their fee schedule since their initial release to mirror the delayed Medicare cuts passed by congress. On December 28, 2021, we updated our website to reflect the current, most up-to-date fee schedule. Please find the latest fee schedule here.
As a reminder, the 2022 Medicare deductible is $233.
Resources for Anthem
Here are a few resources for Anthem including the Alpha-prefix list for out of state plans and the Anthem provider rep map. We will update the provider rep map as it is sent to us.
Alpha prefix list for Ohio – click here
Alpha prefix list for Indiana – click here
Anthem provider rep map – click here – again we will update as we receive the most current version
February 26, 2020 letter from Anthem regarding the indefinite postponement of prior authorization – click here
Recoupment Request for No Prior Authorization
The KAC is aware that providers have been receiving recoupment requests for lack of prior authorization. In late 2019/early 2020, the KAC was successful in stopping Anthem from requiring prior authorization for chiropractors through AIM in Kentucky. Providers should have received a letter from Anthem that stated prior authorization was postponed indefinitely for chiropractors.
If providers are currently receiving recoupment requests for lack of prior authorization, we encourage all providers to reach out directly to their provider rep. You can share the letter Anthem sent to providers regarding the postponement of prior authorization.
What is the KAC working on?
The KAC is currently meeting with Anthem on a regular basis on a few different issues. We are also working with our lobbying team to get a meeting with the “higher ups” in Anthem to bring awareness and work to a resolution on this issue.
On November 22, 2021, the KAC sent a survey out to all providers to see how they have been impacted. Did you take our survey? If not, click here to take the 3-question survey.
Update 12.09.2021 – Results of the Anthem Survey
Thank you to everyone who participated in our survey regarding recoupment letters received for lack of prior authorization. Of those who participated, over 60 providers based all over the state of Kentucky received a recoupment letter for lack of prior authorization. Again, thank you to those who took the time to participate.
We anticipate there are more than 60 providers who received a letter and might have just missed our survey. We have sent this information, along with all of our issues with Anthem to our lobbyist who has been in communication with Anthem’s lobbyist directly. Anthem has a meeting scheduled for December 9, 2021 to discuss the chiropractic issues. We wait to hear the outcome of that meeting and will post an update as soon as we know more.
Download a copy of Anthem’s letter in February 2020 regarding the postponement of prior authorization indefinitely here.
Anthem Update – Modifier Rules and Guidelines for “Always Therapy” Codes
Recently, Anthem announced they were changing their modifier rules for physical medicine and rehabilitation codes. This change took effect November 1, 2021. These codes and modifiers align with the codes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has designated as “always therapy” services and require GN, GO or GP modifiers for physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech-language pathology services when billed on a professional claim.
CMS has a spreadsheet available to indicate which codes require which modifiers. Chiropractors will generally use the GP modifier code to indicate the patient is under a plan of care that includes physical therapy. Resources are below for your reference.
To view Anthem’s notice , please click here
To view the CMS website that has an archive of “always therapy” list of codes click here
To download the 2021 list of “always therapy” codes, click here
To download the 2022 list of “always therapy” codes, click here
How to read the spreadsheets:
The best way to read the spreadsheets is to first, download them. Find the desired code you are using. Look for what columns are checked. Scroll to the top of the spreadsheet and hover over the number listed. Each column has a note or instructions that is associated with each column. Read the note and apply as applicable to your billing practices.
Most common codes use
Below is a list of most common codes used, however the list is not all inclusive. Please download the spreadsheet to review and be sure you are using the proper modifier when billing. These codes, when billed, will need the proper modifier attached (GN, GO, or GP). GP is the most common code used by chiropractors when using these codes to indicate the patient is under a plan of care that includes physical therapy. The GP modifier also indicates the service was performed in an outpatient setting.
97001-97004, 97010, 97012, 97016, 97018, 97022, 97024, 97026, 97028, 97032-97036, 97039, 97110 , 97112, 97113, 97116, 97124, 97139, 97140, 97150, 97161-97168, 97504, 97520, 97530
Anthem has been denying codes 98940/98941 as not covered by this provider type. We have reached out to Anthem executives about this issue and sent several examples to them. Anthem has informed us that they have identified the system issue that was causing these denials. All impacted claims have been pulled for reprocessing. Providers should see reimbursement for these services in the next 30-45 days.
Anthem has also been denying 97140 manual therapies. We have been discussing this issue with them and believed this issue was resolved. However, providers have stated this may not be the case. Be sure you are using modifier 59 and this is being done in an area separate than the adjustment. Also, providers must point their diagnosis codes to the procedure being performed. We will continue working on this issue.
Some providers received letters stating they were at least 20% higher than the 2019 mean number of visits per patient for the Anthem Chiropractic network in Kentucky. We are reaching out to Anthem executives for more information on this letter and to get more clarification as to how these numbers were derived.
As I am sure you are aware by now, Anthem has removed the requirement for prior authorization for physical medicine services performed in a chiropractic office. You can read their statement here. However, providers have had multiple other issues arise since the first of the year. Two of the major complaints have been denials for E/M services and denials for manual therapy. We have sent claim examples to them and are awaiting a response.
As you are hopefully aware, Anthem is planning on starting a new pre-authorization process for all therapy services, 97xxx codes, on March 1st. This process will require you to register with AIM for pre-certification of these services.
The KAC has had the stance from the beginning of this process that Anthem has not notified providers properly of this change. According to KRS 304-17A-235 a material change to a contract is defined as any change that will create a significant increase in administrative cost. Applying this new pre-authorization process is a significant increase in the administrative burden on a provider and thus this material change should be distributed to all providers in an orange envelope as required in KRS 304-17A-235.
The KAC has had many conversations with Anthem through this process. Anthem was willing to listen to our concerns and was helpful in providing information on the upcoming change. Ultimately we could not come to an agreement that the orange envelope notification was required. This led the KAC to meet with the Department of Insurance (DOI) and ask for their opinion on this issue.
Today we have received word from DOI that they have informed Anthem that the previous notifications of the new AIM process are not sufficient to meet the criteria of KRS 304.17A-235. Anthem has been instructed to not implement the AIM precertification until proper notification has been sent.
At this point, we have not heard from Anthem on their plan going forward, but we should be receiving a notification that the March 1st implementation date of AIM for Doctors of Chiropractic should be delayed. Please keep your eyes open for more information as we receive it. We know this is a significant and alarming change. We are continuing to work with Anthem toensure that your voice is heard about the impact of this change on your practice.
We would like to take a moment and thank you for your continued membership in the KAC. The KAC has a dream. A dream that all chiropractors are successful in helping their patients achieve health. Working together we have been able to take a step closer to this dream. Your membership allowed us to accomplish this delay and hopeful change in Anthem’s policy.
Anthem Pre-Authorization Change (Update)
Here are the details:
- Anthem is implementing preauthorization for all 97XXX codes starting March 1st, 2020. This is a directive from Anthem corporate and they are implementing for all provider types.
- You may have received a postcard directing you to read the December provider update. We do not believe this is sufficient notification for providers and have told Anthem that we believe they are in violation of Kentucky law. The KAC believes this type of change falls under Kentucky’s Orange Envelope Law and requires a 90-day notice before implementation can occur.
- We are working closely with Anthem to find a solution, as we believe this will negatively impact patient access and add administrative costs to our doctors.
- At this time, we are not asking for any doctor or patient involvement but keep your eyes open for communication from the KAC.
If you have received rejections from Anthem for missing pre-authorization of a 97XXX code, please remove all patient information and email it to Dr. Nick Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anthem Announces AIM
Anthem has stated that all therapy codes will need prior authorization starting March 1, 2020, through AIM. This notice was sent out in their Provider News on 12/1/2020. At this time, no provider we have spoken with has received notice in accordance with the “Orange Envelope Law”. The KAC continues to work with Anthem to find a solution to this new process.