Effective for claims with dates of service on or after Oct. 1, 2017, UnitedHealthcare will reimburse the appropriate evaluation and management (E/M) procedure code which describes the office visit, hospital care, nursing facility care, home service or domiciliary/rest home care reported in lieu of a consultation services procedure code. This notification will be the first of several communications to clarify this change in reimbursement strategy supporting our commitment to the Triple Aim of improving health care services, health outcomes and overall cost of care.
UnitedHealthcare will align with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and no longer reimburse consultation services represented by CPT codes 99241-99245 and 99251-99255. At the time of the original CMS decision to no longer recognize these consultation services procedure codes, UnitedHealthcare began pursuit of data analysis and trending to better understand the use of consultation services codes as reported in the treatment of our commercial members. Similar to CMS’s findings, our extensive data analysis has revealed misuse of consultation services codes for this population.
The current Relative Value Unit (RVU) assignments reflect numerous changes made during recent years to both E/M codes and other surgical services creating an overall budget neutral experience supporting this strategy as a more accurate reflection of services rendered.
New Policy – Advanced Practice Health Care Professional Evaluation and Management Procedures Policy
Effective for claims with dates of service on or after Sept. 1, 2017, UnitedHealthcare will require physicians reporting evaluation and management (E/M) services on behalf of their employed Advanced Practice Health Care Professionals to report the services with a modifier to denote the services were provided in collaboration with a physician. UnitedHealthcare will accept the modifier SA on claims for these services when provided by nurse practitioners, physician assistants and clinical nurse specialists.
In addition, the rendering care provider’s National Provider Identifier (NPI) must also be documented in field 24J on the CMS-1500 claim form or its electronic equivalent. Use of the modifier SA and documentation of the rendering care provider will assist UnitedHealthcare in maintaining accurate data with regard to the types of practitioners providing services to our members.