By Betsy Priest, Coding Manager

As of Oct 1, 2016, updates to the ICD-10 codes were put in to effect.  Some areas that may be of interest to you are:

  • Code assignment/Clinical criteria – A diagnosis will be added when a provider states that a condition exists. It is no longer dependent on showing the clinical criteria that brings the Physician to that diagnosis.
  • Laterality – The laterality of any injury needs to be documented to assign a code. If one side is treated and no longer is an issue, then the documentation needs to change from bilateral to the side that is now affected (cataracts are a good example).
  • Pathologic Fractures – 7th character A is for when the patient is receiving active treatment – not whether the provider has seen the patient before. 7th character D is for after the patient has completed active treatment.
  • Long Term use of Insulin – This needs to be documented so that it can be coded.

In addition to the above bullets, some diagnoses have been added, now requiring a 4th, 5th and 6th digit. It is important to look at any and all code lists that you use to ensure that they include all of the most up to date codes.

If you would like more information about how we can tailor our services to meet your needs, please contact Betsy Priest, Coding Manager at 716.348.3904 or Betsyp@pracfir


By Tammy Bartlett, Billing Manager



We have received numerous letters from CMS for our clients that indicate PQRS criteria has not been met and  payment adjustments will occur, reducing Medicare payments by 2% for 2017 dates of service. The payment adjustments are based on services rendered in 2015. We will forward the letters to the applicable clients, as we receive them.

If you received a letter from CMS regarding reduction in payments and believe you have been incorrectly assessed, please review the payment adjustment resources located on the PQRS webpage at:

As mentioned in previous communications with our providers, Practicefirst recommended to report via a PQRS Qualified Registry.  By utilizing a registry, providers become eligible for measures group reporting, thus decreasing the required number of patients to report on.

As a reminder, due to the increasing requirements of PQRS reporting, Practicefirst no longer provides PQRS reporting services to providers at a reasonable cost.


MVP issued FASTFAX #50W on October 20, 2016 to the provider community regarding Preventive Visits and Modifier 25. Preventive visits (codes 99381-99397) are payable on the same date of service as a separately identifiable E&M service (i.e. 99213). The E&M would be submitted with modifier 25. The additional services for the E&M must be documented in the medical record and the claim should include both the preventive visit diagnosis code(s) and the relevant condition diagnosis code(s).

If the preventive code is not billed, the visit will not count for the preventive service quality measures (well child, adolescent and adult measures).

For additional information, please visit MVP’s website at, select Section 15 for Payment Policies and then select the Modifier Policy from their bookmarks.

For Billing questions, please contact Tammy Bartlett at 716-348-3923 or