Medicare Payment for Clinical Laboratory Services
Medicare consists of two parts: Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospitalization costs, once the annual deductible has been met, for almost everyone age 65 and older plus the permanently disabled and those with chronic renal disease. Coverage under Part A is automatic. Payment for inpatient care in most hospitals is based on a fixed fee determined for each diagnosis (diagnosis-related groups, DRGs).1 DRGs are not applied to physician services. Laboratory tests performed for Medicare inpatients are considered a part of the DRG payment. Medicare Part B covers physician services, outpatient clinical laboratory, and x-ray tests for eligible persons along with other medical services and supplies not covered under Part A. Part B is voluntary; however, most who are eligible sign up. There is an annual deductible and a 20% co-payment for all Part B services except outpatient clinical laboratory services.
Most clinical laboratory procedures are paid from laboratory fee schedules issued by individual Medicare carriers. Medicare carriers are contractors, usually large insurance companies, who administer Part B Medicare services in each state. There are 57 carriers, including one for each state and territory plus two in California and three in New York. All physician services, including pathology services not included in the laboratory fee schedule, are paid according to the Physician Fee Schedule. Unlike the laboratory fee schedule, under this schedule co-payments of 20% are collected from the beneficiary so that the actual payment received from Medicare for a given procedure is 80% of the Physician Fee Schedule amount.
Before Medicare pays for any test or diagnostic service, two basic criteria must be met: (a) the service must be covered by Medicare, and (b) the service must be medically necessary and indicated. Once these two criteria are met, Medicare pays for most clinical laboratory tests based on the applicable Laboratory Fee Schedule. Each carrier publishes a unique laboratory fee schedule and adjusts payment levels as determined by Congress during the annual budget process. Updates, when granted, are effective January 1st.
national fee limitations
National caps apply to most laboratory tests. These caps define the maximum amount a carrier may pay for a given test. The 1998 National Limitation amounts for any given test are based on 74% of the median amount listed on all carriers' fee schedules for a particular laboratory test. National caps were reduced from 76% to 74% effective January 1, 1998, resulting in a reduction of 2.63% for most clinical laboratory tests.
Fee schedules may be adjusted only by statutory changes approved by Congress. When the fee schedule is adjusted by a given percentage, national caps are adjusted up or down by the same amount. Medicare payment for clinical laboratory tests is always the lowest of the fee schedule, the national cap, or the actual amount billed.
Medicare Guideline posts
- Finding Medicare fee schedule - HOw to Guide
- LCD and procedure to diagnosis lookup - How to Gui...
- Medicare Fee Schedule, Payment and Reimbursement Benefit Guideline,
- Step by step Guide Medicare participation program
- Medicare Fee for Office Visit CPT Codes - CPT Code 99213, 99214, 99203
- Medicare revalidation FAQ
- Gastroenterology, Colonoscopy, Endoscopy Medicare CPT Code Fee
- Medicare claim address, phone numbers, payor id - revised list
Top Medicare billing tips
Procedure code and description 93000 - Electrocardiogram, routine ECG with at least 12 leads; with interpretation and report -average fee...
CPT CODE and description 90460 - Immunization administration through 18 years of age via any route of administration, with counseling by ...
Flow Cytometry is a highly complex process by which blood, body fluids, bone marrow and tissue can be examined. It provides important immun...
CPT CODE and Description 97001 - Physical therapy evaluation Average fee payment $70 - $80 97002 - Physical therapy re-evaluation Ave...
This post has Most used J code list and we are constantly updating with example . If you are looking particular J code, use search button. ...
CPT CODE and Description 90785 - Interactive complexity (List separately in addition to the code for primary procedure) 90791 - Psychi...
Here is the big list of Medical terminology abbreviation @—at A & P—anatomy and physiology ab—abortion abd—abdominal ABG—arterial ...
Place of Service: A two-digit code used on health care professional claims to indicate the setting in which a service was provided. Place...
Complete Blood Count (CBC) Testing A complete blood count consists of measuring a blood specimen for levels of hemoglobin, hematocrit, red...
Procedure code and description 93015 (cardiovascular stress test using maximal or submaximal treadmill or bicycle exercise, continuous ele...