Monday, November 9, 2015

Ambulance Billing Mandatory Assignment Requirements

When an ambulance provider/supplier, or a third party under contract with the provider/supplier, furnishes a Medicare-covered ambulance service to a Medicare beneficiary and the service is not statutorily excluded under the particular circumstances, the provider/supplier must submit a claim to Medicare and accept assignment of the beneficiary's right to payment from Medicare. Managed Care Providers/Suppliers
Mandatory assignment for ambulance services, in effect with the implementation of the ambulance fee schedule, applies to ambulance providers/suppliers under managed care as well as under fee-for-service. The ambulance fee schedule is effective for claims with a date of service on or after April 1, 2002.

Any provider or supplier without a contract establishing payment amounts for services provided to a beneficiary enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (MA) coordinated care plan or MA private fee-for-service plan must accept, as payment in full, the amounts that they could collect if the beneficiary were enrolled in original Medicare. The provider or supplier can collect from the MA plan enrollee the cost-sharing amount required under the MA plan, and collect the remainder from the MA organization.

Beneficiary Signature Requirements Effective: 08-12-14, Implementation: 08-12-14

Medicare requires the signature of the beneficiary, or that of his or her representative, for both the purpose of accepting assignment and submitting a claim to Medicare. If the beneficiary is unable to sign because of a mental or physical condition, the following individuals may sign the claim form on behalf of the beneficiary:
(1) The beneficiary’s legal guardian.
(2) A relative or other person who receives social security or other governmental benefits on behalf of the beneficiary.
(3) A relative or other person who arranges for the beneficiary’s treatment or exercises other responsibility for his or her affairs.
(4) A representative of an agency or institution that did not furnish the services for which payment is claimed, but furnished other care, services, or assistance to the beneficiary.
(5) A representative of the provider or of the nonparticipating hospital claiming payment for services it has furnished, if the provider or nonparticipating hospital is unable to have the claim signed in accordance with 42 CFR 424.36(b) (1 – 4).
(6) A representative of the ambulance provider or supplier who is present during an emergency and/or nonemergency transport, provided that the ambulance provider or supplier maintains certain documentation in its records for at least 4 years from the date of service. A provider/supplier (or his/her employee) cannot request payment for services furnished except under circumstances fully documented to show that the beneficiary is unable to sign and that there is no other person who could sign.

Medicare does not require that the signature to authorize claim submission be obtained at the time of transport for the purpose of accepting assignment of Medicare payment for ambulance benefits. When a provider/supplier is unable to obtain the signature of the beneficiary, or that of his or her representative, at the time of transport, it may obtain this signature any time prior to submitting the claim to Medicare for payment. (Note: there is a 12 month period for filing a Medicare claim, depending upon the date of service.)

If the beneficiary/representative refuses to authorize the submission of a claim, including a refusal to furnish an authorizing signature, then the ambulance provider/supplier may not bill Medicare, but may bill the beneficiary (or his or her estate) for the full charge of the ambulance items and services furnished. If, after seeing this bill, the beneficiary/representative decides to have Medicare pay for these items and services, then a beneficiary/representative signature is required and the ambulance provider/supplier must afford the beneficiary/representative this option within the claims filing period.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts