Thursday, June 24, 2010

Covered ancillary services:

ancillary services

Auxiliary or supplemental services, such as diagnostic services, home health services, physical therapy and occupational therapy, used to support diagnosis and treatment of a patient's condition.

Covered ancillary services:

Effective January 1, 2008:

Covered ancillary items and services that are integral to a covered surgical procedure, and for which separate payment to the ASC is allowed are identified below.

Covered ancillary services:
• Brachytherapy sources;
• Certain implantable items that have pass-through status under the OPPS;
• Certain items and services that CMS designates as contractor-priced, including, but not limited to, the procurement of corneal tissue;
• Certain drugs and biologicals for which separate payment is allowed under the OPPS;
• Certain radiology services for which separate payment is allowed under the OPPS.
Definitions of covered ASC facility services include:
• Administrative, Recordkeeping and Housekeeping Items and Services

These include the general administrative functions necessary to run the facility e.g., scheduling, cleaning, utilities, and rent.

• Anesthesia Materials

These include the anesthetic itself, and any materials, whether disposable or re-usable, necessary for its administration.

•  Blood, Blood Plasma, Platelets, etc., Except Those to Which Blood Deductible Applies
While covered procedures are limited to those not expected to result in extensive loss of blood, in some cases, blood or blood products are required. Usually the blood deductible results in no expenses for blood or blood products being included under this provision. However, where there is a need for blood or blood products beyond the deductible, they are considered ASC facility services and no separate charge is permitted to the beneficiary or the program.

• Diagnostic or Therapeutic Items and Services

These are items and services furnished by ASC staff in connection with covered surgical procedures. Many ASCs perform diagnostic tests prior to surgery that are generally included in the facility charges, such as urinalysis, blood hemoglobin, hematocrit levels, etc. To the extent that such simple tests are included in the ASC’s facility charges, they are considered facility services. However, under the Medicare program, diagnostic tests are not covered in laboratories independent of a physician’s office, rural health clinic, or hospital unless the laboratories meet the regulatory requirements for the conditions for coverage of services of independent laboratories. Therefore, diagnostic tests performed by the ASC other than those generally included in the facility’s charge are not covered under Part B and are not to be billed as diagnostic tests. If the ASC has its laboratory certified, the laboratory itself may bill for the tests performed.

The ASC may make arrangements with an independent laboratory or other laboratory, such as a hospital laboratory, to perform diagnostic tests it requires prior to surgery. In general, however, the necessary laboratory tests are done outside the ASC prior to scheduling of surgery, since the test results often determine whether the beneficiary should have the surgery done on an outpatient basis in the first place.

• Drugs, Biologicals, Surgical Dressings, Supplies, Splints, Casts, Appliances, and Equipment

This category includes all supplies and equipment commonly furnished by the ASC in connection with surgical procedures. See the following paragraphs for certain exceptions. Drugs and biologicals are limited to those which cannot be self-administered.

Under Part B, coverage for surgical dressings is limited to primary dressings, i.e., therapeutic and protective coverings applied directly to lesions on the skin or on openings to the skin required as the result of surgical procedures. (Items such as Ace bandages, elastic stockings and support hose, Spence boots and other foot coverings, leotards, knee supports, surgical leggings, gauntlets and pressure garments for the arms and hands are used as secondary coverings and therefore are not covered as surgical dressings.) Although surgical dressings usually are covered as “incident to” a physician’s service in a physician’s office setting, in the ASC setting, such dressings are included in the facility’s services.

However, surgical dressings may be reapplied later by others, including the patient or a member of his family. When surgical dressings are obtained by the patient on a physician’s order from a supplier, e.g., a drugstore, the surgical dressing is covered under Part B and paid by the Durable Medical
Equipment Medicare Administrative Contractor (DME MAC).

Similarly, “other supplies, splints, and casts” include only those furnished by the ASC at the time of the surgery. Additional covered supplies and materials furnished later are generally furnished as “incident to” a physician’s service, not as an ASC facility service. The term “supplies” includes those required for both the patient and ASC personnel, e.g., gowns, masks, drapes, hoses, and scalpels, whether disposable or reusable. These are included in the rate for the surgical procedure.

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