Goblins Bring 2009 HCPCS Level II Codes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) may have posted HCPCS Level II Halloween day, but there is little terrifying in the more than 400 additions, deletions, changes, and administrative adjustments.

The file, which will most assuredly be updated by year’s end and is slated to be altered quarterly through next year, included 160 new, 187 changed, and 77 deleted codes and modifiers. A number of codes received administrative changes or were re-used codes with new descriptions.

Changes to the dressings codes in the A section include both description clarifications and administrative changes. Spirometers get a new code, A9284. The usually dynamic C codes, developed for the outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS), see a number of administrative changes this year along with new and deleted codes. Several new codes were added to the E DME section to accomodate changes to oxygen and wheelchair payments rules.

If you are participating in the physcian quality report initiative (PQRI), get familiar with the G codes, which see the bulk of the changes this year. Many of the end-stage renal disease tracking codes added recently are gone. Many new codes address orthopedic procedures of the spine and pelvis. Mental health and biopsy codes appear this year. Most interesting are a new family of codes supporting PQRI, stating “All quality actions for the application measures in the XXXX quality measures group have been performed for this patient.”

The drug or J codes also see a number of changes this year, including the deletion of substitute dermal tissue codes. Several new drugs are added, as usual, for 2009. Changes to L prosthetic and orthotic codes are unremarkable. The skin codes deleted from the J section appear in new form in the Q codes.

Blue Cross/Blue Shield codes in the S section include new genetic testing codes.

The new HCPCS Level II file, which includes four years of changes, the new Table of Drugs, and the Index can be found on the CMS Web site.

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