1 Local Coverage Determination (LCD): Ambulance Services (L34549) Contractor Name Palmetto GBA Document Information LCD ID L34549 LCD Title Ambulance Services Original Effective Date For services performed on or after 10/01/2014 AMA CPT/ADA CDT Copyright Statement CPT only copyright American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association. Applicable FARS/DFARS Apply to Government Use. Fee schedules, relative value units, conversion factors and/or related components are not assigned by the AMA, are not part of CPT, and the AMA is not recommending their use. The AMA does not directly or indirectly practice medicine or dispense medical services. The AMA assumes no liability for data contained or not contained herein. The Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (Code) is published in Current Dental Terminology (CDT). Copyright American Dental Association. All rights reserved. CDT and CDT-2010 are trademarks of the American Dental Association. Revision Effective Date Revision Ending Date Retirement Date Notice Period Start Date Notice Period End Date CMS National Coverage Policy Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, 1862 (a)(1)(a) allows coverage and payment for only those services that are considered to be reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of illness or injury or to improve the functioning of a malformed body member. Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, 1833 (e) prohibits Medicare payment for any claim which lacks the necessary information to process the claim. Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, 1861(s)(7) defines ambulance service where the use of other methods of
2 transportation is contraindicated by the individual's condition, but only to the extent provided in regulations. Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, 1861 (v)(1)(k)(ii) defines emergency service. Code of Federal Regulations- 42 CFR addresses the coverage of ambulance services Code of Federal Regulations- 42 CFR (a)(1-5) signature requirements Federal Register, Vol. 66, No. 233, December 4, 2001, Rules and Regulations, pp.62980, Ambulance Restocking and the Anti Kickback Statute Federal Register, Vol.67, No. 39, February 27, 2002, Rules and Regulations, pp. 9102, 9106, and 9108 CMS Internet-Only Manual, Pub , Medicare Benefit Policy Manual, Chapter 10, CMS Internet-Only Manual, Pub , Medicare Claims Processing Manual, Chapter 15, CMS Internet-Only Manual, Pub , Medicare Program Integrity Manual, Chapter 6, Coverage Guidance Coverage Indications, Limitations, and/or Medical Necessity Medicare covers ambulance services only if they are furnished to a beneficiary whose medical condition is such that use of any other means of transportation is contraindicated. A beneficiary whose condition permits transport in any type of vehicle other than an ambulance would not qualify for services under Medicare. The beneficiary's condition at the time of the transport is the determining factor in whether medical necessity is met. A. Emergency Ambulance Services (Ground): Emergency response means responding immediately at the BLS or ALS1 level of service to a 911 call or the equivalent in areas without a 911 call system. An immediate response is one in which the ambulance provider or supplier begins as quickly as possible to take the steps necessary to respond to the call. Medicare will cover emergency ambulance services when the services are medically necessary, meet the destination limits of closest appropriate facilities, and are provided by an ambulance service that is licensed by the state. Medical Reasonableness: Medical reasonableness is established if the beneficiary's condition is an emergency and the beneficiary is unable to go to the hospital by other means. An emergency means services provided after the sudden onset of a medical condition, manifesting itself by acute signs or symptoms of sufficient severity such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in the following: placing the beneficiary's health in serious jeopardy; serious impairment to bodily functions; or serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part. Examples of emergency situations are: (note: this list is not all inclusive) 1. Injury resulting from an accident, or illness with acute symptoms. Examples are hemorrhage, shock, chest pain, acute neurological symptoms or respiratory distress. 2. The beneficiary requires restraints by a professionally trained ambulance attendant as a means of preventing injury either to the beneficiary or to another person. A description of why restraints are necessary is required. Such descriptions may include narrative describing specific violent or psychotic acts, frequency/severity/predictability of seizure activity, or a precise description of the risk to safety that unrestrained and unsupervised transport would create. A sole diagnosis of senility, forgetfulness, or Alzheimer's does not qualify. 3. Oxygen is required by the beneficiary during transport. The administration of oxygen itself does not satisfy the requirement that the beneficiary needed oxygen. Documentation should reflect the need such as
3 hypoxemia, syncope, airway obstruction, and chest pain. Ambulance transport is not medically necessary if the only reason for the ambulance service is to provide oxygen during transport, and the benficiary has a portable oxygen system available. 4. Immobilization of the beneficiary is necessary because of a suspected fracture, a compound fracture, severe pain, the need for pain medication, or suspicion of neurological injury. 5. A transfer is made of a beneficiary between institutions for necessary services not available at the transferring institution and the beneficiary meets any of the criteria 1-4 above. Examples are beneficiaries with cardiac disease requiring cardiac catheterization or coronary bypass not available at the transferring institution. Destination An ambulance transport is covered to the nearest appropriate facility to obtain necessary diagnostic and/or therapeutic services (such as a CT scan or cobalt therapy) as well as the return transport. In addition to all other coverage requirements, this transport situation is covered only to the extent of the payment that would be made for bringing the service to the patient. Medicare covers ambulance transports (that meet all other program requirements for coverage) only to the following destinations: Hospital; Critical Access Hospital (CAH); Skilled Nursing facility (SNF); Beneficiary's home; Dialysis facility for ESRD beneficiary who requires dialysis; A physician's office is not a covered destination. However, under special circumstances an ambulance transport may temporarily stop at a physician's office without affecting the coverage status of the transport. Transfer site (airport/helicopter) As a general rule, only local transportation by an ambulance is covered, and therefore, only mileage to the nearest appropriate facility equipped to treat the beneficiary is covered. B. Non Emergency (Scheduled) Ambulance Service (Ground) For non-emergency ambulance transportation, transportation by ambulance is appropriate if the beneficiary is bed-confined and it is documented that the beneficiary's medical condition is such that other methods of transportation are contraindicated, or if his or her medical condition, regardless of bed-confinement, is such that transportation by ambulance is medically required. Three criteria determine whether a beneficiary has Medicare coverage for non-emergency (scheduled) ambulance services: Only when transportation by any other means of transportation is contraindicated by the medical condition of the beneficiary Only to specific destinations; and
4 Only when certified as medically necessary by a physician directly responsible for the beneficiary's care ( NOTE: All three of the above criteria must be met). Medical Reasonableness: Ambulance transport in non-emergency situations must meet medical necessity guidelines. 1. Medical reasonableness is established for non-emergency ambulance services when the beneficiary's condition is such that the use of any other method of transportation (such as: taxi, private car, wheelchair van, or other type of vehicle) is contraindicated. If the condition contraindicating other means of transportation is "bed confined", the beneficiary must meet the following criteria of "bed confined." The beneficiary is: a. unable to get up from bed without assistance b. unable to ambulate; AND c. unable to sit in a chair or wheelchair NOTE: All three components must be met in order for the beneficiary to be considered "bed-confined." It does not include a beneficiary who is restricted to bed rest on a physician's instructions due to a short-term illness. Bed confinement, by itself, is neither sufficient nor is it necessary to determine the coverage for Medicare ambulance benefits. It is simply one element of the beneficiary's condition that may be taken into account in the A/B MAC determination of whether means of transport other than an ambulance were contraindicated. Examples of situations in which beneficiaries are bed confined and cannot be moved by wheelchair, but must be moved by stretcher include: a. Contractures creating non-ambulatory status and the beneficiary can not sit b. Severe generalized weakness c. Severe vertigo causing inability to remain upright d. Immobility of lower extremities (beneficiary in spica cast, fixed hip joints, or lower extremity paralysis) and unable to be moved by wheelchair 2. If some means of transportation other than an ambulance (such as: private car, wheelchair van, etc.) could be utilized without endangering the individual's health, whether or not such other transportation is actually available, no payment may be made for ambulance service. 3. If transportation is for the purpose of receiving an excluded service (such as a routine dental examination) then the transportation is also excluded even if the beneficiary could only have gone by ambulance. 4. If transportation is for the purpose of receiving a service that could have been safely and effectively provided in the point of origin then the transport is not covered even if the beneficiary could only have gone by ambulance. Examples include (a) A transport from a residence to a hospital for a service that can be performed more economically in the beneficiary's home, and (b) A transport of a skilled nursing facility beneficiary to a hospital or to another SNF for a service that can be performed more economically in the first SNF. 5. Ambulance transportation for services excluded from SNF consolidated billing must meet the criteria as reasonable and necessary (i.e. other means contraindicated). C. Emergency Air Ambulance Transportation: Emergency response means responding immediately at the BLS or ALS1 level of service to a 911 call or the equivalent in areas without a 911 call system. An immediate response is one in which the ambulance supplier begins as quickly as possible to take the steps necessary to respond to the call. Medically appropriate air
5 ambulance transportation either by means of a helicopter or fixed wing aircraft is a covered service regardless of the state or region in which it is rendered only if the beneficiary's medical condition required immediate and rapid ambulance transportation that could not have been provided by land ambulance, or either: A. The point of pick-up is inaccessible by land vehicle (this condition could be met in Hawaii, Alaska, and in other remote or sparsely populated areas of the continental United States), or B. Great distances or other obstacles (for example, heavy traffic) are involved in getting the patient to the nearest hospital with appropriate facilities as described in this policy. Medical Reasonableness for Emergency Air Ambulance Transportation: Medical reasonableness is only established when the beneficiary's condition is such that the time needed to transport a beneficiary by land, or the instability of transportation by land, poses a threat to the beneficiary's survival or seriously endangers the beneficiary's health. These conditions may include, but are not limited to: 1. Intracranial bleeding - requiring neurosurgical intervention; 2. Cardiogenic shock; 3. Burns requiring treatment in a Burn Center; 4. Conditions requiring treatment in a Hyperbaric Oxygen Unit; 5. Multiple severe injuries; or 6. Life-threatening trauma. Destination: Air ambulance transport is covered for transfer of a beneficiary between hospitals if: 1. The medical appropriateness criteria are met, that is, transportation by ground ambulance would endanger the beneficiary's health and the transferring hospital does not have adequate facilities to provide the medical services needed by the beneficiary. Examples of such services include burn care, cardiac care, trauma care, and critical care AND 2. The hospital to which the beneficiary is transferred is the nearest one with appropriate facilities. As a general rule, only local transportation by an ambulance is covered, and therefore, only mileage to the nearest appropriate facility equipped to treat the beneficiary is covered. Appropriate Facilities: The term "appropriate facilities" means that the institution is generally equipped to provide the needed hospital or skilled nursing care for the illness or injury involved. It is the institution, its equipment, its personnel and its capability to provide the services necessary to support the required medical care that determine whether it has appropriate facilities. The fact that a more distant institution is better equipped, either qualitatively or quantitatively, to care for the patient does not warrant a finding that a closer institution does not have "appropriate facilities." Such a finding is warranted, however, if the beneficiary's condition requires a higher level of trauma care or other specialized service available only at a more distant hospital. In addition, a legal impediment barring a patient's admission would permit a finding that the institution did not have "appropriate facilities." For example, the nearest appropriate specialty hospital may be in another State and that State's law precludes admission of nonresidents.
6 An institution is also not considered an appropriate facility if there is no bed available. NOTE: If the transport is for the purpose of receiving a non-covered service, then the transport is also noncovered, even if the destination is an appropriate facility. Ambulance Service to a Physician's Office: Ambulance service to a physician's office is covered only under the following circumstances: The ambulance transport is enroute to a Medicare covered destination During the transport, the ambulance stops at a physician's office, because of the beneficiary's dire need for professional attention, and immediately thereafter, the ambulance continues to a covered destination. In such cases, the beneficiary will be deemed to have been transported directly to a covered destination and payment may be made for a single transport and the entire mileage of the transport, including any additional mileage traveled because of the stop at the physician's office. Physician Certification & Order Ambulance transport providers or suppliers must obtain a written order from the attending physician for all nonemergency, scheduled repetitive ambulance services and a written statement from the physician certifying the medical necessity of the ambulance services. Requirements for non-emergency ambulance transportation include: 1. The order and certification must be dated no earlier than 60 days in advance of the transport, for repetitive beneficiaries whose transportation is scheduled in advance. 2. For residents in facilities who are under the direct care of a physician, written orders from the patient's attending physician certifying medical necessity can be obtained within 48 hours after the transport. 3. The physician order may be signed by a physician assistant (PA), nurse practitioner (NP), or clinical nurse specialist (CNS) (where all applicable state licensure or certification requirements are met). 4. For unscheduled non-emergency transports, a registered nurse (RN) or discharge planner who is employed by the beneficiary's attending physician or the hospital or facility where the patient is being treated may sign a physician certification statement on oral orders from the physician or other qualified practitioner (i.e., PA, NP, CNS). The physician must later countersign the written order. 5. The ambulance supplier is responsible for obtaining the signed written order and certification with the appropriate signatures as expeditiously as possible, and must obtain the signed order before billing for the service. 6. If the ambulance supplier is unable to obtain the written order and certification with appropriate signatures within 21 calendar days following the date of the service, the supplier may bill only if there is documentation of good faith effort to obtain the order and certification. 7. A physician order is not required prior to emergency transports or unscheduled transports of a beneficiary residing at home or in a facility, who is not under the direct care of a physician. When the transport involves a ground ambulance and an air ambulance, both services may be reimbursed if both are medically necessary. NOTE: It is important to note that the presence of the signed physician certification statement does not necessarily demonstrate that the transport was medically necessary. The ambulance provider or supplier must meet all coverage criteria in order for payment to be made. Beneficiary Signature Requirement Medicare requires the signature of the beneficiary, or that of his or her representative, for both the purpose of
7 accepting assignment and submitting a claim to Medicare. If the beneficiary is unable to sign because of a mental or physical condition, the following individuals may sign the claim form on behalf of the beneficiary: 1. the beneficiary's legal guardian 2. a relative or other person who receives social security or other governmental benefits on behalf of the beneficiary 3. a relative or other person who arranges for the beneficiary's treatment or exercises other responsibility for his or her affairs 4. a representative of an agency or institution that did not furnish the services for which payment is claimed, but furnished other care, services, or assistance to the beneficiary 5. a representative of the provider or of the nonparticipating hospital claiming payment for services it has furnished, if the provider or nonparticipating hospital is unable to have the claims signed in accordance with 42 CFR (b) (1-4) 6. a representative of the ambulance provider or supplier who is present during an emergency and/or nonemergency transport, provided that the ambulance provider or supplier maintains certain documentation in its records for at least 4 years from the date of service. A provider/supplier (or his/her employee) cannot request payment for services furnished except under circumstances fully documented to show that the beneficiary is unable to sign and that there is no other person who could sign. Medicare does not require that the signature to authorize claim submission be obtained at the time of transport for the purpose of accepting assignment of Medicare payment for ambulance benefits. When a provider/supplier is unable to obtain the signature of the beneficiary, or that of his or her representative, at the time of transport, it may obtain this signature any time prior to submitting the claim to Medicare for payment. If the beneficiary/representative refuses to authorize the submission of a claim, including a refusal to furnish an authorizing signature, then the ambulance provider/supplier may not bill Medicare, but may bill the beneficiary (or his or her estate) for the full charge of the ambulance items and services furnished. If, after seeing this bill, the beneficiary/representative decides to have Medicare pay for these items and services, then a beneficiary/representative signature is required and the ambulance provider/supplier must afford the beneficiary/representative this option within the claims filing period. Bill Type Codes: Contractors may specify Bill Types to help providers identify those Bill Types typically used to report this service. Absence of a Bill Type does not guarantee that the policy does not apply to that Bill Type. Complete absence of all Bill Types indicates that coverage is not influenced by Bill Type and the policy should be assumed to apply equally to all claims. 013x 018x Hospital Outpatient Hospital - Swing Beds 021x Skilled Nursing - Inpatient (Including Medicare Part A) 022x 023x 071x 085x Skilled Nursing - Inpatient (Medicare Part B only) Skilled Nursing - Outpatient Clinic - Rural Health Critical Access Hospital
8 Revenue Codes: Contractors may specify Revenue Codes to help providers identify those Revenue Codes typically used to report this service. In most instances Revenue Codes are purely advisory; unless specified in the policy services reported under other Revenue Codes are equally subject to this coverage determination. Complete absence of all Revenue Codes indicates that coverage is not influenced by Revenue Code and the policy should be assumed to apply equally to all Revenue Codes Ambulance - General Classification 0545 Ambulance - Air Ambulance CPT/HCPCS Codes Group 1 Paragraph: Definition of Level of Service Basic Life Support Basic life support (BLS) is transportation by ground ambulance vehicle and the provision of medically necessary supplies and services, including BLS ambulance services as defined by the State. The ambulance must be staffed by an individual who is qualified in accordance with State and local laws as an emergency medical technical basic (EMT-Basic). These laws may vary from State to State or within a State. For example, only in some jurisdictions is an EMT-Basic permitted to operate limited equipment onboard the vehicle, assist more qualified personnel in performing assessments and interventions, and establish a peripheral intravenous (IV) line. Basic Life Support (BLS) Emergency When medically necessary, the provision of BLS services, as specified above, in the context of an emergency response. An emergency response is one that, at the time the ambulance provider or supplier is called, it responds immediately. An immediate response is one in which the ambulance provider/supplier begins as quickly as possible to take the steps necessary to respond to the call. Advanced Life Support, Level 1 (ALS1) Advanced life support, level 1 (ALS1) is the transportation by ground ambulance vehicle and the provision of medically necessary supplies and services including the provision of an ALS assessment or at least one ALS intervention. An advanced life support (ALS) assessment is an assessment performed by an ALS crew as part of an emergency response that was necessary because the beneficiary's reported condition at the time of dispatch was such that only an ALS crew was qualified to perform the assessment. An ALS assessment does not necessarily result in a determination that the beneficiary requires an ALS level of service. An advanced life support (ALS) intervention is a procedure that is in accordance with State and local laws, required to be done by an emergency medical technician-intermediate (EMT-Intermediate) or EMT-Paramedic. Advance Life Support, Level 1 (ALS1) - Emergency When medically necessary, the provision of ALS1 services, as specified above, in the context of an emergency response. An emergency response is one that, at the time the ambulance provider or supplier is called, it responds immediately. An immediate response is one in which the ambulance provider/supplier begins as quickly as possible to take the steps necessary to respond to the call. Advanced Life Support, Level 2 (ALS2) Advanced Life Support, level 2 (ALS) is the transportation by ground ambulance vehicle and the provision of medically necessary supplies and services including (1) at least three separate administrations of one of more
9 medications by intravenous push/bolus or by continuous infusion (excluding crystalloid fluids) or (2) ground ambulance transport, medically necessary supplies and services, and the provision of at least one of the ALS2 procedures listed below: Manual defibrillation/cardioversion; Endotracheal intubation; Central venous line; Cardiac pacing; Chest decompression; Surgical airway; or Intraosseous line Specialty Care Transport (SCT) Specialty care transport (SCT) is the interfacility transportation of a critically injured or ill beneficiary by a ground ambulance vehicle, including the provision of medically necessary supplies and services, at a level of service beyond the scope of the EMT-Paramedic. SCT is necessary when a beneficiary's condition requires ongoing care that must be furnished by one or more health professionals in an appropriate specialty area, for example, emergency or critical care nursing, emergency medicine, respiratory care, cardiovascular care, or a paramedic with additional training. The EMT-Paramedic level of care is set by each State. SCT is necessary when a beneficiary's condition requires ongoing care that must be furnished by one or more health professionals in an appropriate specialty area. Care above that level that is medically necessary and that is furnished at a level of service above the EMT-Paramedic level of care is considered SCT. That is to say, if EMT-Paramedics- without specialty care certification or qualification are permitted to furnish a given service in a State, then that service does not qualify for SCT. The phrase "EMT-Paramedics with additional training" recognizes that a State may permit a person who is not only certified as an EMT-Paramedic, but who also has successfully completed additional education as determined by the State in furnishing higher level medical services required by critically ill or critically injured patients, to furnish a level of services that otherwise would require a health professional in an appropriate specialty care area (for example, a nurse) to provide. "Additional training" means the specific additional training that a State requires a paramedic to complete in order to qualify to furnish specialty care to a critically ill or injured patient during a SCT. Paramedic Intercept (PI) Paramedic Intercept services are ALS services provided by an entity that does not provide the ambulance transport. This type of service is most often provided for an emergency ambulance transport in which a local volunteer ambulance that can provide only basic life support (BLS) level of service is dispatched to transport a patient. If the patient needs ALS services such as EKG monitoring, chest decompression, or I.V. therapy, another entity dispatches a paramedic to meet the BLS ambulance at the scene or once the ambulance is on the way to the hospital. The ALS paramedics then provide services to the patient. This tiered approach to life saving is cost effective in many areas because most volunteer ambulances do not charge for their services and one paramedic service can cover many communities. Prior to March 1, 1999, Medicare payment could be made for these services, but only when the claim was submitted by the entity that actually furnished the ambulance transport. Payment could not be made directly to the intercept service provider. In those areas where State laws prohibit volunteer ambulances from billing Medicare and other health insurance, the intercept service could not receive payment for treating a Medicare beneficiary and was forced to bill the beneficiary for the entire service.
10 Paramedic intercept services furnished on or after March 1, 1999, may be payable separate from the ambulance transport, subject to the requirements specified below. The intercept service(s) is: Furnished in a rural area; Furnished under a contract with one or more volunteer ambulance services; and Medically necessary based on the condition of the beneficiary receiving the ambulance service. In addition, the volunteer ambulance service involved must: Meet the programs certification requirements for furnishing ambulance services; Furnish services only at the BLS level at the time of the intercept; and Be prohibited by State law from billing anyone for any service. Finally, the entity furnishing the ALS paramedic intercept service must: Meet the programs certification requirements for furnishing ALS services, and, Bill all recipients who receive ALS paramedic intercept services from the entity, regardless of whether or not those recipients are Medicare beneficiaries. For purposes of the paramedic intercept benefit, a rural area is an area that is designated as rural by a State law or regulation or any area outside of a Metropolitan Statistical Area or in New England, outside a New England County Metropolitan Area as defined by the Office of Management and Budget. The current list of these areas is periodically published in the Federal Register. Fixed Wing Air Ambulance (FW) Fixed wing air ambulance is furnished when the beneficiary's medical condition is such that transport by ground ambulance, in whole or in part, is not appropriate. Generally, transport by fixed wing air ambulance may be necessary because the beneficiary's condition requires rapid transport to a treatment facility, and either great distances or other obstacles, e.g., heavy traffic, preclude such rapid delivery to the nearest appropriate facility. Transport by fixed wing air ambulance may also be necessary because the beneficiary is inaccessible by a ground or water ambulance vehicle. Rotary Wing Air Ambulance (RW) Rotary wing air ambulance is furnished when the beneficiary's medical condition is such that transport by ground ambulance, in whole or in part, is not appropriate. Generally, transport by rotary wing air ambulance
11 may be necessary because the beneficiary's condition requires rapid transport to a treatment facility, and either great distances or other obstacles, e.g., heavy traffic, preclude such rapid delivery to the nearest appropriate facility. Transport by rotary wing air ambulance may also be necessary because the beneficiary is inaccessible by a ground or water ambulance vehicle. Rural Air Ambulance Services Rural air ambulance service means fixed wing and rotary wing air ambulance service in which the point of pick up of the individual occurs in a rural area (as defined in Section 1886(d)(2)(D) or in a rural census tract of a metropolitan statistical area)(as determined under the most recent modification of the Goldsmith Modification, originally published in the Federal Register on February 27, 1992) (57 Fed. reg. 6725). Group 1 Codes: A0425 A0426 A0427 A0428 A0429 A0430 A0431 GROUND MILEAGE, PER STATUTE MILE AMBULANCE SERVICE, ADVANCED LIFE SUPPORT, NON-EMERGENCY TRANSPORT, LEVEL 1 (ALS 1) AMBULANCE SERVICE, ADVANCED LIFE SUPPORT, EMERGENCY TRANSPORT, LEVEL 1 (ALS1-EMERGENCY) AMBULANCE SERVICE, BASIC LIFE SUPPORT, NON-EMERGENCY TRANSPORT, (BLS) AMBULANCE SERVICE, BASIC LIFE SUPPORT, EMERGENCY TRANSPORT (BLS- EMERGENCY) AMBULANCE SERVICE, CONVENTIONAL AIR SERVICES, TRANSPORT, ONE WAY (FIXED WING) AMBULANCE SERVICE, CONVENTIONAL AIR SERVICES, TRANSPORT, ONE WAY (ROTARY WING) PARAMEDIC INTERCEPT (PI), RURAL AREA, TRANSPORT FURNISHED BY A A0432 VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE COMPANY WHICH IS PROHIBITED BY STATE LAW FROM BILLING THIRD PARTY PAYERS A0433 ADVANCED LIFE SUPPORT, LEVEL 2 (ALS 2) A0434 A0435 A0436 SPECIALTY CARE TRANSPORT (SCT) FIXED WING AIR MILEAGE, PER STATUTE MILE ROTARY WING AIR MILEAGE, PER STATUTE MILE ICD-10 Codes that Support Medical Necessity Group 1 Paragraph:
12 Group 1 Codes: Show entries for Group 1 ICD-10 Codes that Support Medical Necessity: 100 Search Group 1 ICD-10 Codes that Support Medical Necessity textbox: Search By: Group 1 ICD-10 Codes that Support Medical Necessity radio button Description Group 1 ICD-10 Codes that Support Medical Necessity radio button CodeSearch Group 1 ICD-10 Codes that Support Medical Necessity Submit button Group 1Codes ICD-10 Code Description XX000 Not Applicable Showing 1 to 1 of 1 entries in Group 1 FirstPrevCurrently Selected1NextLast SEARCH GROUP ICD-10 Codes that DO NOT Support Medical Necessity Group 1 Paragraph: Group 1 Codes: Show entries for Group 1 ICD-10 Codes that DO NOT Support Medical Necessity: Search Group 1 ICD-10 Codes that DO NOT Support Medical Necessity 100 textbox: Search By: Group 1 ICD-10 Codes that DO NOT Support Medical Necessity radio button Description Group 1 ICD-10 Codes that DO NOT Support Medical Necessity radio button CodeSearch Group 1 ICD-10 Codes that DO NOT Support Medical Necessity Submit button SEARCH GROUP Group 1Codes ICD-10 Code Description XX000 Not Applicable Showing 1 to 1 of 1 entries in Group 1 FirstPrevCurrently Selected1NextLast Additional ICD-10 Information Associated Information Documentation Requirements It is the responsibility of the ambulance supplier to furnish complete and accurate documentation of the beneficiary's condition to demonstrate that the ambulance service being furnished meets the medical necessity criteria: Physician written order for transport (if non-emergency physician ordered)
13 Trip record to include: Detailed statement of the condition necessitating the ambulance service Statement indicating the beneficiary was admitted as an inpatient including the name and address of the facility Name and address of the certifying physician Name and address of physician ordering service if other than certifying physician Point of pick-up (identify place and complete address) Destination (identify place and complete address) Number of loaded miles (the number of miles traveled when the beneficiary was in the ambulance) Cost per mile Mileage charge Minimal or base charge Charge for special items or services with an explanation Rationale for condition (bed confined if applicable) and any further documentation that supports the medical necessity of ambulance transport (i.e. emergency room report) Medicare requires the signature of the beneficiary, or that of his or her representative, for both the purpose of accepting assignment and submitting a claim to Medicare. Documentation supporting the medical necessity should be legible, maintained in the patient's medical record, and must be made available to the A/B MAC upon request. Ambulance services that are not Medicare benefits because some other form of transportation is not contraindicated, is an exclusion from Medicare benefits under the statutory definition of that benefit at 1861(s)(7). An ABN is not needed and should not be used in the following situations: a. Any denial where the patient could be transported safely by other means (these are denials under 1861(s)(7) of the Social Security Act). b. Any denial that is based on not meeting an origin or destination requirement (these denials are inconsistent with 42 CFR and generally also constitute 1861(s)(7) denials).
14 c. A denial for mileage that is beyond the nearest appropriate facility (for the same reason as b above). d. A denial where the Physician Certification Statement or accepted alternative (e.g., certified mail) is not obtained (for the same reason as b above). e. A convenience discharge, e.g., where the beneficiary is an inpatient at one hospital that can care for their needs, but wants to be transferred to a second hospital to be closer to family (for the same reason as b above). Not obtaining an Advanced Beneficiary Notice (ABN) in these technical denial situations does not prevent the supplier or provider from collecting denied charges from the beneficiary. CMS developed Beneficiary Notices Initiative web page to assist suppliers and providers in informing beneficiaries that the services they are receiving are excluded from Medicare benefits. Ambulance suppliers may develop their own process to communicate to beneficiaries that they will be billed for excluded services for which the ABN is not appropriate. Utilization Guidelines Multiple patient transports - a single payment allowance for mileage will be prorated by the number of beneficiaries onboard. Down coding from air to ground is an 1862 (a)(1)(a) denial. Aspirin alone does not qualify to validate as an indicator that an ALS-2 level has been supplied. Oxygen alone, even at high flow rates, does not qualify to validate as an indication that an ALS-2 level has been supplied. Administration of IV fluids even with a fluid challenge does not qualify to validate as an indication that an ALS-2 level has been supplied. Nitroglycerin administered as an assist to the beneficiary's own nitroglycerin does not qualify to validate as an indication that an ALS-2 level has been supplied. Nitroglycerin administered intravenously from the ambulance stock under a physician's telephonic order, or standing orders does qualify as an indication (as one of three medications) that an ALS-2 level has been supplied. Multiple arrivals - when multiple units respond to a call for services the entity that provides the transport for the beneficiary should be the only provider billing the service. Sources of Information and Basis for Decision Associated Documents Attachments Related Local Coverage Documents Related National Coverage Documents Public Version(s) Updated on 03/05/2014 with effective dates 10/01/2014 -
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Disclaimer: Please be advised that the following does not constitute the official version of these regulations. As is the case with all state regulations, official versions are available from the Secretary