WSR 02-05-042



(Medical Assistance Administration)

[ Filed February 13, 2002, 9:32 a.m. ]

Title of Rule: WAC 388-531-0050 Physician-related services definitions.

Purpose: To make editorial corrections to incorrect cross-references in the definitions of "acute care" and "experimental." The cross-reference to WAC 248-27-015 is to a repealed WAC, and should be changed to the current WAC 246-327-0101. The cross-reference to WAC 388-531-0500 is incorrect, and should be WAC 388-531-0550.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.08.090.

Summary: The definition of "acute care" contains an obsolete cross-reference. It currently refers to repealed WAC 246-27-015, and should refer to WAC 246-327-010. The definition of "experimental" in WAC 388-531-0050 contains an erroneous cross-reference. It currently refers to WAC 388-531-0500, but the correct reference is WAC 388-531-0550. This action will correct these errors.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: To correct an erroneous cross-reference so the reader may be referred to the correct site.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Ann Myers, 925 Plum Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98501, (360) 725-1345; and Implementation: Gene Profant MD, 623 8th Avenue S.E., Olympia, WA 98501.

Name of Proponent: Department of Social and Health Services, Medical Assistance Administration, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: This action is intended to correct erroneous cross-references. The anticipated effect is to direct the reader to the correct site.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: It makes the following editorial corrections in WAC 388-531-0050:

a. The cross-reference in the definition of "acute care" is changed from WAC 246-27-015 to 246-327-010; and

b. The cross-reference in the definition of "experimental" is changed from WAC 388-531-0500 to 388-531-0550.

These change do not alter the substance or intent of WAC 388-531-0050.



February 6, 2002

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-01-012, filed 12/6/00, effective 1/6/01)

WAC 388-531-0050   Physician-related services definitions.   The following definitions and abbreviations and those found in WAC 388-500-0005, apply to this chapter. Defined words and phrases are bolded the first time they are used in the text.

"Acquisition cost" means the cost of an item excluding shipping, handling, and any applicable taxes.

"Acute care" means care provided for clients who are not medically stable. These clients require frequent monitoring by a health care professional in order to maintain their health status (WAC ((248-27-015)) 246-327-010).

"Acute physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R)" means a comprehensive inpatient and rehabilitative program coordinated by a multidisciplinary team at an MAA-approved rehabilitation facility. The program provides twenty-four hour specialized nursing services and an intense level of specialized therapy (speech, physical, and occupational) for a diagnostic category for which the client shows significant potential for functional improvement (see WAC 388-550-2501).

"Add-on procedure(s)" means secondary procedure(s) that are performed in addition to another procedure.

"Admitting diagnosis" means the medical condition responsible for a hospital admission, as defined by ICD-9-M diagnostic code.

"Advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP)" means a registered nurse prepared in a formal educational program to assume an expanded health services provider role in accordance with WAC 246-840-300 and 246-840-305.

"Aging and adult services administration (AASA)" means the administration that administers directly or contracts for long-term care services, including but not limited to nursing facility care and home and community services. See WAC 388-15-202.

"Allowed charges" means the maximum amount reimbursed for any procedure that is allowed by MAA.

"Anesthesia technical advisory group (ATAG)" means an advisory group representing anesthesiologists who are affected by the implementation of the anesthesiology fee schedule.

"Base anesthesia units (BAU)" means a number of anesthesia units assigned to a surgical procedure that includes the usual pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative visits. This includes the administration of fluids and/or blood incident to the anesthesia care, and interpretation of noninvasive monitoring by the anesthesiologist.

"Bundled services" means services integral to the major procedure that are included in the fee for the major procedure. Bundled services are not reimbursed separately.

"Bundled supplies" means supplies which are considered to be included in the practice expense RVU of the medical or surgical service of which they are an integral part.

"By report (BR)" means a method of reimbursement in which MAA determines the amount it will pay for a service that is not included in MAA's published fee schedules. MAA may request the provider to submit a "report" describing the nature, extent, time, effort, and/or equipment necessary to deliver the service.

"Call" means a face-to-face encounter between the client and the provider resulting in the provision of services to the client.

"Cast material maximum allowable fee" means a reimbursement amount based on the average cost among suppliers for one roll of cast material.

"Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)" means an advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) with formal training in anesthesia who meets all state and national criteria for certification. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists specifies the National Certification and scope of practice.

"Children's health insurance plan (CHIP)," see chapter 388-542 WAC.

"Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA)" means regulations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that require all laboratory testing sites to have either a CLIA registration or a CLIA certificate of waiver in order to legally perform testing anywhere in the U.S.

"Conversion factors" means dollar amounts MAA uses to calculate the maximum allowable fee for physician-related services.

"Covered service" means a service that is within the scope of the eligible client's medical care program, subject to the limitations in this chapter and other published WAC.

"CPT," see "current procedural terminology."

"Critical care services" means physician services for the care of critically ill or injured clients. A critical illness or injury acutely impairs one or more vital organ systems such that the client's survival is jeopardized. Critical care is given in a critical care area, such as the coronary care unit, intensive care unit, respiratory care unit, or the emergency care facility.

"Current procedural terminology (CPT)" means a systematic listing of descriptive terms and identifying codes for reporting medical services, procedures, and interventions performed by physicians and other practitioners who provide physician-related services. CPT is copyrighted and published annually by the American Medical Association (AMA).

"Diagnosis code" means a set of numeric or alphanumeric characters assigned by the ICD-9-CM, or successor document, as a shorthand symbol to represent the nature of a disease.

"Emergency medical condition(s)" means a medical condition(s) that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity so that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in placing the patient's health in serious jeopardy, serious impairment to bodily functions, or serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.

"Emergency services" means medical services required by and provided to a patient experiencing an emergency medical condition.

"Estimated acquisition cost (EAC)" means the department's best estimate of the price providers generally and currently pay for drugs and supplies.

"Evaluation and management (E&M) codes" means procedure codes which categorize physician services by type of service, place of service, and patient status.

"Expedited prior authorization" means the process of obtaining authorization that must be used for selected services, in which providers use a set of numeric codes to indicate to MAA which acceptable indications, conditions, diagnoses, and/or criteria are applicable to a particular request for services.

"Experimental" means a term to describe a procedure, or course of treatment, which lacks sufficient scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness. See WAC ((388-531-0500)) 388-531-0550. A service is not "experimental" if the service:

(1) Is generally accepted by the medical profession as effective and appropriate; and

(2) Has been approved by the FDA or other requisite government body, if such approval is required.

"Fee-for-service" means the general payment method MAA uses to reimburse providers for covered medical services provided to medical assistance clients when those services are not covered under MAA's healthy options program or children's health insurance program (CHIP) programs.

"Flat fee" means the maximum allowable fee established by MAA for a service or item that does not have a relative value unit (RVU) or has an RVU that is not appropriate.

"Geographic practice cost index (GPCI)" as defined by Medicare, means a Medicare adjustment factor that includes local geographic area estimates of how hard the provider has to work (work effort), what the practice expenses are, and what malpractice costs are. The GPCI reflects one-fourth the difference between the area average and the national average.

"Global surgery reimbursement," see WAC 388-531-1700.

"HCPCS Level II" means a coding system established by the HCFA to define services and procedures not included in CPT.

"Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA)" means the agency within the federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) with oversight responsibility for the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

"Health Care Financing Administration Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS)" means the name used for the Health Care Financing Administration codes made up of CPT and HCPCS level II codes.

"Health care team" means a group of health care providers involved in the care of a client.

"Hospice" means a medically directed, interdisciplinary program of palliative services which is provided under arrangement with a Title XVIII Washington licensed and certified Washington state hospice for terminally ill clients and the clients' families.

"ICD-9-CM," see "International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification."

"Informed consent" means that an individual consents to a procedure after the provider who obtained a properly completed consent form has done all of the following:

(1) Disclosed and discussed the client's diagnosis; and

(2) Offered the client an opportunity to ask questions about the procedure and to request information in writing; and

(3) Given the client a copy of the consent form; and

(4) Communicated effectively using any language interpretation or special communication device necessary per 42 C.F.R. Chapter IV 441.257; and

(5) Given the client oral information about all of the following:

(a) The client's right to not obtain the procedure, including potential risks, benefits, and the consequences of not obtaining the procedure; and

(b) Alternatives to the procedure including potential risks, benefits, and consequences; and

(c) The procedure itself, including potential risks, benefits, and consequences.

"Inpatient hospital admission" means an acute hospital stay for longer then twenty-four hours when the medical care record shows the need for inpatient care beyond twenty-four hours. All admissions are considered inpatient hospital admissions, and are paid as such, regardless of the length of stay, in the following circumstances:

(1) The death of a client;

(2) Obstetrical delivery;

(3) Initial care of a newborn; or

(4) Transfer to another acute care facility.

"International Classification of diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM)" means the systematic listing that transforms verbal descriptions of diseases, injuries, conditions, and procedures into numerical or alphanumerical designations (coding).

"Investigational" means a term to describe a procedure, or course of treatment, which lacks sufficient scientific evidence of benefit for a particular condition. A service is not "investigational" if the service:

(1) Is generally accepted by the medical professional as effective and appropriate for the condition in question; or

(2) Is supported by an overall balance of objective scientific evidence, in which the potential risks and potential benefits are examined, demonstrating the proposed service to be of greater overall benefit to the client in the particular circumstance than another, generally available service.

"Life support" means mechanical systems, such as ventilators or heart-lung respirators, which are used to supplement or take the place of the normal autonomic functions of a living person.

"Limitation extension" means a process for requesting and approving reimbursement for covered services whose proposed quantity, frequency, or intensity exceeds that which MAA routinely reimburses. Limitation extensions require prior authorization.

"Maximum allowable fee" means the maximum dollar amount that MAA will reimburse a provider for specific services, supplies, and equipment.

"Medically necessary," see WAC 388-500-0005.

"Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Data Base (MPFSDB)" means the official HCFA publication of the Medicare policies and RVUs for the RBRVS reimbursement program.

"Medicare Program Fee Schedule for Physician Services (MPFSPS)" means the official HCFA publication of the Medicare fees for physician services.

"Medicare Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Fee Schedule" means the fee schedule used by Medicare to reimburse for clinical diagnostic laboratory procedures in the state of Washington.

"Mentally incompetent" means a client who has been declared mentally incompetent by a federal, state, or local court.

"Modifier" means a two-digit alphabetic and/or numeric identifier that is added to the procedure code to indicate the type of service performed. The modifier provides the means by which the reporting physician can describe or indicate that a performed service or procedure has been altered by some specific circumstance but not changed in its definition or code. The modifier can affect payment or be used for information only. Modifiers are listed in fee schedules.

"Outpatient" means a client who is receiving medical services in other than an inpatient hospital setting.

"Peer-reviewed medical literature" means medical literature published in professional journals that submit articles for review by experts who are not part of the editorial staff. It does not include publications or supplements to publications primarily intended as marketing material for pharmaceutical, medical supplies, medical devices, health service providers, or insurance carriers.

"Physician care plan" means a written plan of medically necessary treatment that is established by and periodically reviewed and signed by a physician. The plan describes the medically necessary services to be provided by a home health agency, a hospice agency, or a nursing facility.

"Physician standby" means physician attendance without direct face-to-face client contact and which does not involve provision of care or services.

"Physician's current procedural terminology," see "CPT, current procedural terminology."

"PM&R," see acute physical medicine and rehabilitation.

"Podiatric service" means the diagnosis and medical, surgical, mechanical, manipulative, and electrical treatments of ailments of the foot and ankle.

"Pound indicator (#)" means a symbol (#) indicating a CPT procedure code listed in MAA fee schedules that is not routinely covered.

"Preventive" means medical practices that include counseling, anticipatory guidance, risk factor reduction interventions, and the ordering of appropriate laboratory and diagnostic procedures intended to help a client avoid or reduce the risk or incidence of illness or injury.

"Prior authorization" means a process by which clients or providers must request and receive MAA approval for certain medical services, equipment, or supplies, based on medical necessity, before the services are provided to clients, as a precondition for provider reimbursement. Expedited prior authorization and limitation extension are forms of prior authorization.

"Professional component" means the part of a procedure or service that relies on the provider's professional skill or training, or the part of that reimbursement that recognizes the provider's cognitive skill.

"Prognosis" means the probable outcome of a client's illness, including the likelihood of improvement or deterioration in the severity of the illness, the likelihood for recurrence, and the client's probable life span as a result of the illness.

"Prolonged services" means face-to-face client services furnished by a provider, either in the inpatient or outpatient setting, which involve time beyond what is usual for such services. The time counted toward payment for prolonged E&M services includes only face-to-face contact between the provider and the client, even if the service was not continuous.

"Provider," see WAC 388-500-0005.

"Radioallergosorbent test" or "RAST" means a blood test for specific allergies.

"RBRVS," see resource based relative value scale.

"RVU," see relative value unit.

"Reimbursement" means payment to a provider or other MAA-approved entity who bills according to the provisions in WAC 388-502-0100.

"Reimbursement steering committee (RSC)" means an interagency work group that establishes and maintains RBRVS physician fee schedules and other payment and purchasing systems utilized by the health care authority, MAA, and department of labor and industries.

"Relative value guide (RVG)" means a system used by the American Society of Anesthesiologists for determining base anesthesia units (BAUs).

"Relative value unit (RVU)" means a unit which is based on the resources required to perform an individual service or intervention.

"Resource based relative value scale (RBRVS)" means a scale that measures the relative value of a medical service or intervention, based on the amount of physician resources involved.

"RBRVS RVU" means a measure of the resources required to perform an individual service or intervention. It is set by Medicare based on three components - physician work, practice cost, and malpractice expense. Practice cost varies depending on the place of service.

"RSC RVU" means a unit established by the RSC for a procedure that does not have an established RBRVS RVU or has an RBRVS RVU deemed by the RSC as not appropriate for the service.

"Stat laboratory charges" means charges by a laboratory for performing tests immediately. "Stat" is an abbreviation for the Latin word "statim," meaning immediately.

"State unique procedure codes" means procedure codes established by the RSC to define services or procedures not contained in CPT or HCPCS level II.

"Sterile tray" means a tray containing instruments and supplies needed for certain surgical procedures normally done in an office setting. For reimbursement purposes, tray components are considered by HCFA to be nonroutine and reimbursed separately.

"Technical advisory group (TAG)" means an advisory group with representatives from professional organizations whose members are affected by implementation of RBRVS physician fee schedules and other payment and purchasing systems utilized by the health care authority, MAA, and department of labor and industries.

"Technical component" means the part of a procedure or service that relates to the equipment set-up and technician's time, or the part of the procedure and service reimbursement that recognizes the equipment cost and technician time.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.09.520. 01-01-012, 388-531-0050, filed 12/6/00, effective 1/6/01.]

Reviser's note: The typographical error in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appears in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office