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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions are used to provide additional information and/or statutory guidance not found in State Medicaid Director Letters, State Health Official Letters, or CMCS Informational Bulletins. The different sets of FAQs as originally released can be accessed below.Frequently Asked Questions are used to provide additional information and/or statutory guidance not found in State Medicaid Director Letters, State Health Official Letters, or CMCS Informational Bulletins. The different sets of FAQs as originally released can be accessed below.

FAQ Library

Showing 1 to 10 of 51 results

Upon analysis by states, what if an edit is found to be in conflict with a state law or regulation, but is currently included within a National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) methodology?

CMS allows states to consider edits on an individual, state-by-state basis. If a state determines that an edit in the Medicaid NCCI methodologies conflicts with one or more state laws, regulations, administrative rules, or payment policies, the state can request permission from CMS to deactivate the conflicting edit. States are not afforded the flexibility to deactivate edits after March 31, 2011, due to a lack of operational readiness.

If a state determines and documents that there is no other feasible way to comply with Medicaid NCCI edits, the state can send a request to deactivate that edit or those individual edits using the NCCI mailbox at NCCIPTPMUE@cms.hhs.gov. The request must include sufficient primary source documentation of the conflicting state law, regulation, administrative rule, or payment policy. States are no longer required to send NCCI deactivation requests to CMS Regional Offices.

FAQ ID:95166

Care managers often do not document data elements in the assessment and care plan measures unless the member has "a problem." For example, they may not document that they assessed the member's vision or need for an assistive device if no problem was identified. How can states or plans address this issue?

Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) plan managers should provide training on proper documentation practices to care managers and other delegated staff. States and MLTSS plans could consider including data field entry options to remind care managers to record all results of the assessment, even if findings are negative, that is, the member does not have a problem or need assistance or services. For example, states and plans could include a question in the member’s record that requires the care manager to document both whether an assessment was performed and whether a problem was identified, along with another required field to include the details of the problem if there was a problem identified.

FAQ ID:89046

When a facility has been in operation for the dates of service covered by the Upper Payment Limit (UPL) demonstration, can a state demonstrate the UPL by using less than 12 months of data?

In accordance with Medicare cost reporting, the state must use 12 months of cost data reported by each facility. With regard to payment data, the state should use actual amounts, to the extent available, then calculate a claims completion factor based on historic utilization. The state’s UPL submission must include an explanation of its methodology to estimate payments. The use of a claims completion factor provides a reasonable estimate of the amount that Medicare would pay for these services, consistent with the UPL as defined at 42 CFR 447.272.

FAQ ID:92446

What data should my state provide to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the annual Upper Payment Limit demonstrations?

Effective state fiscal year 2020, each state must submit a complete data set of payments to Medicaid providers, including providers paid at cost, as well as critical access hospitals. This would require states to submit cost and payment data to CMS that previously was not requested.

FAQ ID:92456

Can you explain the difference between a prospective Upper Payment Limit (UPL) and a retrospective UPL?

The difference between a prospective and retrospective UPL is in the relationship between the UPL demonstration period and the date when the UPL is submitted. For a UPL demonstration period of 7/1/2018 to 6/30/2019, a UPL is considered retrospective when it is submitted on or after the start of the demonstration period (on or after 7/1/2018). Using the same UPL demonstration period (7/1/2018 to 6/30/2019), a UPL is considered prospective if it is submitted prior to 7/1/2018.

FAQ ID:92431

What are National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) methodologies and are these methodologies compatible with the Medicaid program?

The NCCI methodologies are made up of the following four components:

  1. Sets of edits
  2. Definitions of types of claims subject to the edits
  3. Sets of claim-adjudication rules for applying the edits
  4. Sets of rules for addressing provider/supplier appeals of denied payments for services based on the edits

The NCCI methodologies include both NCCI Procedure-to-Procedure (PTP) edits and Medically Unlikely Edits (MUEs).

CMS issued SMDL #11-003 (PDF, 159.55 KB) on April 22, 2011, to state CMS policy on the requirement for appeals of claims for which payment was denied due to an NCCI edit. The nature of the appeals process in each state is left to the discretion of the state's Medicaid agency.

CMS currently has six methodologies for Medicare Part B. These methodologes are the following:

  1. NCCI PTP edits for practitioner and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) services
  2. NCCI PTP edits for outpatient services (including emergency department, observation, and hospital laboratory services) in hospitals reimbursed through the hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS). Edits are applied to all facility therapy services billed to the Medicare Fiscal Intermediary (Part A Hospital / Part B Practitioner Medicare Administrative Contractors processing claims with the Fiscal Intermediary Shared System).
  3. MUE units-of-service edits for practitioner and ASC services
  4. MUE units-of-service edits for outpatient services in hospitals
  5. MUE units-of-service edits for supplier claims for durable medical equipment
  6. Add-on code edits for practitioner and ASC services (added in April 2013).

After review, CMS determined that the first five NCCI methodologies listed above were compatible methodologies for claims filed in Medicaid. A sixth methodology for Medicaid was added in 2012: NCCI PTP edits for Durable Medical Equipment (DME).

FAQ ID:95121

What National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) methodologies did CMS find that are not compatible with Medicaid and that are currently being utilized in the Medicare program?

CMS determined that the five NCCI methodologies that were in place in Medicare in 2010 were compatible methodologies for claims filed in Medicaid and that these five methodologies must be incorporated in a state's Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) for provider claims filed on and after October 1, 2010.

CMS works with the NCCI contractor to identify specific edits within the five methodologies which need to be modified or deleted for Medicaid. Also, edits are developed for the Medicaid NCCI program for services and items that are not covered or not separately payable by Medicare. CMS found that most state MMISs could not accommodate the add-on code edits used in Medicare. Therefore CMS provides those edits to the states for optional use as state-specific edits.

FAQ ID:95131

Upon analysis by states, what if one or more edits are found that are necessary to improve correct coding within a state's Medicaid program, but are not currently included within an National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) methodology?

States are free to apply their own edits, in addition to the Medicaid NCCI edits, that meet the intent of the statute and would improve correct coding within their Medicaid programs. However, these state-specific edits should not be characterized as NCCI edits. If such state edits result in additional savings to the state's Medicaid program by promoting correct coding and reducing the error rate for claims payments, the state should recommend that CMS add these edits to one or more of the sets of Medicaid NCCI edits.

FAQ ID:95136

Does CMS require states to submit their 2019 Upper Payment Limit (UPL) demonstrations using the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved templates for Inpatient Hospital services (IPH), Outpatient Hospital services (OPH), and Nursing Facility services (NF) UPLs?

Yes, CMS requires states to use all of the OMB approved templates for their 2019 (07/01/2018 to 06/30/2019) UPL demonstrations submitted to meet the annual UPL reporting requirement and with State Plan Amendment (SPA) submissions. When submitting UPL demonstrations, use the following naming convention: UPL_<UPL Demo Date Range>_<Service Type Abbreviation>_R<Region Number>_<State Abbreviation>_<Workbook Number>.xls. Here is an example of the naming convention: UPL_20170701-20180630_IP_R01_CT_01.xls.

FAQ ID:92196

When a state pays at or less than the Medicare rate is it required to submit an Upper Payment Limit (UPL) demonstration using the template(s)?

No, if a state's payment methodology describes payment at no more than 100 percent of the Medicare rate for the period covered by the UPL then it does not need to submit a demonstration using the template(s). To show the state has met the annual UPL demonstration reporting requirement it should make CMS aware that it is paying no more than the Medicare rate.

FAQ ID:92201

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