Billing and coverage for drug wastage

Can I bill for drug wastage from a multi-dose/multiuse vial or package of drug or biological?


Providers may not bill for drug wastage for multi-does/multiuse vials or packages from which an amount is administered to one patient

Even if a provider is unable to store unused doses for later use because the pharmacy incorrectly reconstituted the drug using sterile water instead of bacteriostatic water, a provider may not bill for drug wastage in a multi-dose/multiuse vial or package

Tips for Submitting Accurate Claims:

Each HCPCS code is associated with a specific number of units and type of units may be described by various units of measure

Verify the number and type of units associated with the HCPCS code before calculating the quantity on your claim

Verify calculations with the physician if needed

Submit the number of units (based on the HCPCS code) for the amount actually administered and not the number of units in the entire multi dose/multiuse vial or package

First Coast Service Options Inc. (First Coast) will consider payment for the unused and discarded portion of a single-use drug/biological product after administration of the appropriate (reasonable and necessary) dosage for the patient’s condition. This applies to drugs priced through the Average Sales Price (ASP) drug/biological program. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) encourages physicians, hospitals, and other providers to provide injectable drug therapy incident to a physician’s services in a fashion that maximizes efficiency of therapy in a clinically appropriate manner. If a physician, hospital, or other provider must discard the unused portion of a single-use vial or other single-use package after administering a dose/quantity appropriate to the clinical context for a Medicare beneficiary, the program provides payment for the entire portion of drug or biological indicated on the vial or package label.

If less than a complete vial is administered at the time of service, and the unused portion is discarded, drug wastage must be documented in the patient’s medical record with the date, time, and quantity wasted. Upon review, any discrepancy between amount administered to the patient and the billed amount will be denied, unless wastage is clearly documented. The amount billed as “wastage” must not be administered to another patient or billed again to Medicare. All procedures for drug storage, reconstitution and administration should conform to applicable Federal Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines and provider scope of practice.

Note: For billing purposes, First Coast does not require the use of modifier JW. Drug wastage is billed by combining on a single line the wastage and administered dosage amount.

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