Ask the Coding Experts, by Doug Morrow, O.D., Harvey Richman, O.D., Rebecca Wartman, O.D.
From the June 2016 edition of AOA Focus, pages 50-51.
The AOA is working to support members to provide the best coding resources and guidance. In addition to the print version of Codes for Optometry, the AOA has an online coding resource, AOA Coding Today, available at no charge for members.
AOA Coding Today is a valuable resource for keeping up with code changes. While the transition to ICD-10 in October 2015 proved to be less disruptive than anticipated, all doctors will need to be aware of annual changes and updates to ICD-10 that will be implemented in coming years. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have announced that thousands of new diagnosis codes will be added to the ICD-10 code set on October 1, 2016. The majority of the new codes will be ICD-10 hospital inpatient procedure codes, but there will be new codes that doctors of optometry will need to be aware of. The large volume update to the code set is due to the backlog of proposals for changes to the code set that were proposed during the partial code freeze that began in 2011 and is scheduled to end one year after the implementation of ICD-10. During the code freeze, many new codes were not added to the code set to allow for an easier transition to ICD-10.AOA Coding Today houses a searchable ICD-10 code database and an ICD-10 crosswalk that will make keeping up with real-time coding changes simpler. Tips and guidance from AOA's Coding Experts also are incorporated into AOA Coding Today, along with frequently asked coding questions from doctors of optometry.
In addition to diagnosis coding information, AOA Coding Today also provides you with access to Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System code sets and modifiers. A listing of the top codes used by doctors of optometry is included with information regarding appropriate modifier use, post-operative days, coding edits and information regarding whether the procedure is subject to the multiple procedure reduction under the Medicare program. AOA Coding Today also includes a code-bundling matrix that provides information on allowable code combinations. AOA Coding Today is the go-to resource for AOA's own Coding Experts.
The AOA is working to provide members with the coding resources that keep up with technological advances in how doctors of optometry practice. With AOA Coding Today, answers to your coding questions are just a click away.
Got a coding question?
If you have specific coding questions that are not addressed through AOA Coding Today, direct them to AOA's Coding Experts by completing the online web form.
If you have suggestions for how AOA can best support the coding needs of doctors of optometry, please contact Kara Webb, AOA's associate director for coding and regulatory policy, at email@example.com or 703.837.1018.
Ask the coding experts
Evaluation and management (E/M) services are incredibly important in patient care, and it’s critical that optometry practices are aware of changes ahead. Meanwhile, the AOA and other leading physician organizations are pushing legislation that would halt Medicare payment cuts resulting from the changes.
Time to review your practice’s billing and coding: Access national benchmark data for optometry practices and join an upcoming webinar to learn more about E/M code changes in 2021.