Billing Guidelines for Chiropractic Services (L34585)
The precise level of the subluxation must be specified on the claim and must be listed as the primary diagnosis. The neuromusculoskeletal condition necessitating the treatment must be listed as the secondary diagnosis. All claims for chiropractic services must include the following information: (Failure to report these items will result in claim denial or delay)
- Date of the initiation of the course of treatment.
- Symptom/condition/Secondary diagnosis code(s)
- Subluxation(s)/Primary diagnosis code(s)
- Date of Service
- Place of Service
- Procedure Code
The date of the last x-ray is no longer required. Any date placed in item 19 is considered the date of the last x-ray. It is recommended that providers do not place any date in item 19 of the CMS-1500 claim form.
Limitation of Liability
- The purpose of the limitation of liability provision is to protect the beneficiary from liability in denial cases under certain conditions when services rendered are found to be not reasonable and medically unnecessary. If the provider uses the AT Modifier and believes service is likely to be denied by Medicare as not being medically necessary, the beneficiary must sign an Advance Beneficiary Notification (ABN) and the GA modifier must be used.
- The following information must be recorded by the chiropractor and kept on file. The date of the initial treatment or the date of the exacerbation of the existing condition must be entered in Item 14 of Form CMS-1500 or the electronic equivalent. This serves as an affirmation by the chiropractor that all documentation required as listed below and in the regulations is being maintained on file by the chiropractor.
- Specify the precise spinal location and level of subluxation giving rise to the diagnosis and symptoms. Physician signature for progress notes and reports (handwritten, electronic). Initials if signed over a typed or printed name or accompanied by a signature log or attestation statement.
Coverage Guidelines for Chiropractic Services
- The coverage of chiropractic services is specifically limited to treatment by means of manual manipulation, i.e., by use of hands. Additionally, manual devices (i.e., those that are hand-held with the thrust of the force of the device being controlled manually) may be used by chiropractors in performing manual manipulation of the spine. However, no additional payment is available for use of the device, nor does Medicare recognize an extra charge for the device itself.
- Some chiropractors have been identified as using an “intensive care” concept of treatment. Under this approach, multiple daily visits (as many as four or five in a day) are given in the office or clinic and so-called room or ward fees are charged since the patient is confined to bed usually for the day. The room or ward fees are not covered and reimbursement under Medicare will be limited to not more than one treatment per day unless documentation of the reasonableness and necessity for additional treatment is submitted with the claim.
- No other diagnostic or therapeutic service furnished by a chiropractor or under his or her order is covered. This means that if a chiropractor orders, takes, or interprets an x-ray, or any other diagnostic test, the x-ray or other diagnostic tests, can be used for claims processing purposes, but Medicare coverage and payment are not available for those services.
- This prohibition does not affect the coverage of x-rays or other diagnostic tests furnished by other practitioners under the program. For example, an x-ray or any diagnostic test is taken for the purpose of determining or demonstrating the existence of a subluxation of the spine, is a diagnostic test covered under the Social Security Act if ordered, taken, and interpreted by a physician who is a doctor of medicine or osteopathy.
Non-Covered Services for Chiropractic Services
All services other than manual manipulation of the spine for the treatment of subluxation of the spine are excluded when ordered or performed by a doctor of chiropractic. Chiropractors are not required to bill these to Medicare. Chiropractic offices may want to submit charges to Medicare to obtain a denial necessary for submitting to a secondary insurance carrier. The following are examples of (not an all-inclusive list) of services that, when performed by a Chiropractor, are excluded from Medicare coverage.
- Laboratory tests
- Office Visits (history and physical)
- Diagnostic studies including EKGs
- Orthopedic devices
- Nutritional supplements and counseling
Medicare does not cover chiropractic services to extraspinal regions (CPT 98943), which includes the head, upper and lower extremities, rib cage, and abdomen. When requesting a review, submit documentation that supports the medical necessity of the denied service. To know more about Chiropractic Medical Billing Services provided by E2E Medical Billing Services, call us at 888-552-1290 or write to us at info@e2eMedicalBilling.com