Thursday, February 28, 2002

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - While they're still busy plugging away at developing new HCPCS descriptors and definitions for re/hab products, members of AAHomecare's Re/hab and Assistive Technology Council (RATC) are lobbying for the SADMERC's help in reviewing code requests.

Rita Hostak, chairman of RATC and its coding committee, said the SADMERC is on board with the project, and CMS believes it is in the purview of its contract, but the SADMERC needs to secure additional funding before taking on the work. She said the SADMERC would serve in "a second-level review capacity."

"This would be big, because we've never had a formal relationship with the SADMERC before," Hostak said. "Having them involved would lend more credibility to the project, and because of their relationship with Medicare and Medicaid, we'd have more avenues for getting codes applied."

In turn, Hostak said, the coding committee would serve as resource to the SADMERC in cross-walking local codes to HCPCS.

Hostak said the committee is still trying to get confirmation of the process it will have to follow to submit generic code requests.

The coding committee still faces a daunting task, even though the date for the healthcare industry to transition from HCPCS codes has been extended to Oct. 16, 2003. Hostak said the committee would decide at the AAHomecare Leadership Conference, however, which codes applications must be submitted by April of this year. HME