Officials from Anthem told AOA leadership that the insurer plans to continue its audits of claims billed with modifier 25, despite finding no widespread misuse of common modifiers.
In a recent call with the insurer, Anthem executives also said they have no plans to exclude physicians who have repeatedly shown their coding is accurate from future audits, according to AOA CEO Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD.
“AOA challenged Anthem to justify continuing this practice. We see that physicians who code and document correctly are continuing to be penalized by unjustified claims denials or delays in payment for appropriately billed services,” Dr. Klauer added.
“We will continue advocating with Anthem on behalf of our members and hope they will come back to the table and lift this burden from those who have proven they are billing appropriately.”
At the same time, Anthem is proceeding with its new prepayment clinical validation process, which affects claims submitted with modifiers 25 (significant, separately identifiable E/M service), 59 (distinct procedural service) and 57 (decision for surgery). Anatomical modifiers, including left side (LT) and right side (RT), are also subject to review.
Claims billed with these modifiers will trigger a prepayment clinical validation review process within the automated claims software to evaluate their proper use, according to the insurer.
AOA President Ron Burns, DO, has requested clarification of the policy from Anthem.
“We are extremely concerned about the effects this policy will have on our physicians, many of whom are running small and solo practices that cannot absorb the additional administrative burden this automatic review creates,” Dr. Burns said.
Approximately 20,000 DOs practicing in 14 states could see the ramifications of the new policy this month.
DOs experiencing payment issues due to the Anthem policies are asked to submit two to three EOBs and any supporting documents–with all protected health information redacted–to the AOA Physician Services Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about AOA’s advocacy efforts with private payers here.