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This week's briefing concerns two recent actions by CMS that affect the implementation of new codes, and rules governing lab-to-lab referrals. Mark these changes on your calendars and be prepared to update your CPT codes no later than January 1st next year. As always, please forward any questions, concerns, or ideas for upcoming briefings via email.
Charles Root, Ph.D.
Grace Periods Eliminated for New Codes
At present, Medicare allows a 90-day grace period following updates to CPT, HCPCS and ICD-9-CM codes to allow providers time to obtain new codes and purge old codes from their billing systems.
As you know, CPT and HCPCS codes are updated annually on January 1st of each year. Traditionally, the grace period for billing the previous year's codes has been January 1st through March 31st.
ICD-9-CM codes are updated annually on October 1st of each year and the grace period for using the previous year's codes has been October 1st through December 31st.
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