New rehab codes challenge providers

Sunday, January 18, 2004

January 19, 2004

WASHINGTON - The largest set of new HCPCS codes ever forpower wheelchair seating and accessories went into effect Jan. 1.
Rehab provider must now use 53 new E codes instead of the K0108 miscellaneous code for the designated items. The codes cover, among other things, power tilt-and-recline systems, leg rests, anti-rollback devices, batteries, power chair drive-control devices, shock absorbers, anti-tipping devices, cylinder tank carriers and zero pressure tubes.
The biggest challenge for providers will be adjusting to the new codes and incorporating them into their day-to-day operations. That includes updating computer systems to recognize the new codes. Providers also must review product lines to make sure the new codes, especially those that include high- and low-end items, offer adequate reimbursement for all covered products, sources say.
Roxann Reid, director of reimbursement for ATG New England, a rehab company in Newington, Conn., called the new codes an aggravation that providers will adjust to.
"(Providers) are trying to determine how CMS arrived at an allowable for a certain code, and why this product fits this code and this one doesn't," added Jerry Keiderling, vice president of the VGM Group's U.S. Rehab. "There have always been those questions. People who are doing rehab on a daily basis and doing it well will learn those codes easily."