Sunday, 16 July 2017

Adjustment Bills Involving Time Limitation for Filing Claims

If a provider fails to include a particular item or service on its initial bill, an adjustment bill(s) to include such an item(s) or service(s) is not permitted after the expiration of the time limitation for filing a claim. However, to the extent that an adjustment bill otherwise corrects or supplements information previously submitted on a timely claim about specified services or items furnished to a specified individual, it is subject to the rules governing administrative finality, rather than the time limitation for filing.

Under prospective payment, adjustment requests are required from the hospital where errors occur in diagnoses and procedure coding that change the DRG, or where the deductible or utilization is affected. A hospital is allowed 60 days from the date of the A/B MAC (A) payment notice for adjustment bills where diagnostic or procedure coding was in error. Adjustments reported by the QIO have no corresponding time limit and are adjusted automatically by the A/B MAC (A) without requiring the hospital to submit an adjustment bill. However, if diagnostic and procedure coding errors have no effect on the DRG, adjustment bills are not required.

Under PPS, for long-stay cases, hospitals may bill 60 days after an admission and every 60 days thereafter if they choose. The A/B MAC (A) processes the initial bill through Grouper and Pricer. The provider must submit an adjustment to cancel the original interim bill(s) and rebill the stay from the admission date through the discharge date. When the adjustment bill is received, it processes it as an adjustment. In this case, the 60- day requirement for correction does not apply.

Where payment is handled through cost reporting and settlement processes, the provider accumulates a log for those items not requiring an adjustment bill. Maryland inpatient hospital providers also keep a log of late charges when the amount is under $500. They submit the log with their cost reports. After cost reports are filed, the A/B MAC (A) makes a lump sum payment to cover these charges as shown on the summary log. The provider uses the summary log for late charges only under cost settlement (outpatient hospital), except in Maryland.

Tolerance Guidelines for Submitting Adjustment Requests
When a bill is submitted and the hospital or the A/B MAC (A) discovers an error, the hospital submits an adjustment request using the ASC X12 837 institutional claim format or the Form CMS-1450, if the error is a change in the:

• Number of inpatient days (including a change in the length of stay, or a different allocation of covered/non-covered days; 
• Blood deductible; 
• Inpatient cash deductible of more than $1;
• Servicing provider; 
• Discharge status in a PPS hospital; 
• Diagnosis or Procedures that impact the assigned DRG code; or 
• Outlier payment amount.

The provider submits most adjustment requests as debits, using bill type XX7

Also, it submits a debit-only adjustment request to the A/B MAC (A) if the hospital previously submitted an interim bill for a PPS hospital stay or wishes to change the number of days in any inpatient stay.

The A/B MAC (A) then submits the adjustment to CWF. An adjustment from the QIO for any of the above also requires a submission to CMS via CWF.

If PPS is involved and the DRG has been changed as a result of medical review after an original bill has been forwarded to CMS, adjustment debit/credit bills are required. The corrected bill must be an exact duplicate of the original, except for any changed fields including diagnostic and procedure codes.

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