Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Billing Guideline for experimental or investigations procedure

EXPERIMENTAL OR INVESTIGATIONAL PROCEDURES


Any drug, device or medical treatment or procedure and related services that are experimental or investigational as defined by BCBSKS are non-covered services.

Experimental or investigational refers to the status of a drug, device or medical treatment or procedure:

A. if the drug or device cannot be lawfully marketed without approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and approval for marketing has not been given at the time the drug or device is furnished and the drug or device is not Research-Urgent as defined except for prescription drugs used to treat cancer when the prescription drug is recognized for treatment of the indication in one of the standard reference compendia or in substantially accepted peer-reviewed medical literature; or
B. if Credible Evidence shows that the drug, device or medical treatment or procedure is the subject of ongoing phase I, II, or III clinical trials or under study to determine its maximum tolerated dose, its toxicity, its safety, its efficacy, or its efficacy as compared with the standard means of treatment or diagnosis and the trials are not Research-Urgent as defined except for prescription drugs used to treat cancer when the prescription drug is recognized for treatment of the indication in one of the standard reference compendia or in substantially accepted peer-reviewed medical literature; or

C. if Credible Evidence shows that the consensus among experts regarding the drug, device or medical treatment or procedure is that further studies or clinical trials are necessary to determine its maximum tolerated dose, its toxicity, its safety, its efficacy or its efficacy as compared with the standard means of treatment or diagnosis and the trials are not Research-Urgent as defined except for prescription drugs used to treat cancer when the prescription drug is recognized for treatment of the indication in one of the standard reference compendia or in substantially accepted peer-reviewed medical literature; or

D. if there is no Credible Evidence available that would support the use of the drug, device, medical treatment or procedure compared to the standard means of treatment or diagnosis except for prescription drugs used to treat cancer when the prescription drug is recognized for treatment of the indication in one of the standard reference compendia or in substantially accepted peer-reviewed medical literature.

Credible evidence shall mean only published reports and articles in the authoritative medical and scientific literature; the written protocol(s) used by the treating facility or the protocol(s) of another facility studying substantially the same drug, device or medical treatment or procedure; or the written informed consent used by the treating facility or by another facility studying substantially the same drug, device or medical treatment or procedure.

Research-Urgent shall mean a drug, device, medical treatment or procedure that may be covered (even though otherwise excluded by the contract as experimental or investigational) providing the specified criteria outlined in the contract is met.

Contracting providers shall notify the patient when services to be rendered are considered experimental or investigational and may not be covered under the member’s contract. Any patient being billed for services considered experimental or investigational must have a signed waiver in his/her file. The provider must discuss this with the patient in advance, document this in the medical record, and include the GA modifier (waiver on file) on the claim form (electronic or paper). (See Section X. WAIVER FORM) Failure to discuss and obtain a signed waiver in advance of the service will result in provider write-off.

UNIFORM PROVIDER CHARGING PRACTICES


Occasionally BCBSKS receives questions about what constitutes a provider’s usual charge when a provider offers cash customers a discount and what amount to bill BCBSKS. The term “usual charge” is defined in our Contracting Provider Agreements, but to specifically address this question, our policy is as follows:

A. Provider discounts or charging practices based upon individual patients’ situations (for example: patient hardship or professional courtesy) are acceptable and are not considered the provider’s usual charge. If a provider gives a patient a discount for cash, they must bill BCBSKS the same amount.

B. If a provider gives a lower charge to every patient who does not have health insurance, we consider that lower charge to be the “usual charge.”

Because a contracting provider agrees to not bill a BCBSKS member at the time of service, there should never be a circumstance in which a BCBSKS member pays anything other than a deductible, copayment, coinsurance, or non-covered procedure at the time of service. As an additional matter in regard to this point, our payments are timely enough that they are essentially cash for all practical purposes. If we are in fact late with payments, then the remedy is stated under the Prompt Payment law.

C. Agencies such as community mental health centers and county health departments would be allowed to use a sliding scale for charging practices due to agency regulations.

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