Billing & Coding

ASAM Letter for Non-Psychiatrist Addiction Specialists

Given the wide treatment gap among patients needing treatment and the doctors available to treat them, ASAM recommends that payers should add non-psychiatrist addiction specialist physicians certified by the ABPM, ABAM, ASAM, and AOA and non-psychiatrist physicians who have completed an accredited residency/fellowship in addiction medicine to their in-network provider panels to treat patients diagnosed with a substance use disorder (SUD). ASAM is happy to provide this letter as a resource for non-psychiatrist addiction specialists experiencing exclusion from provider panels in public and/or private payers networks. We recommend that you download this letter, tailor and submit it to the relevant insurer, and advise ASAM once you have done so.

Download Letter

ICD-10 Transition Resources

To be properly reimbursed, accurate descriptions of the service being provided are needed. Billing codes, including CPT, are used to describe the procedure or treatment being provided, in order to be adequately reimbursed for practice expenses and physician effort. ICD-10 codes are used to describe the diagnosis that brings the patient to seek care.

 In new guidance, CMS announced:

  • For a one year period starting October 1, Medicare claims will not be denied solely on the specificity of the ICD-10 diagnosis codes provided, as long as the physician submitted an ICD-10 code from an appropriate family of codes.  In addition, Medicare claims will not be audited based on the specificity of the diagnosis codes as long as they are from the appropriate family of codes.  This policy will be followed by Medicare Administrative Contractors and Recovery Audit Contractors.
  • To avoid potential problems with mid-year coding changes in CMS quality programs (PQRS, VBM and MU) for the 2015 reporting year, physicians using the appropriate family of diagnosis codes will not be penalized if CMS experiences difficulties in accurately calculating quality scores (i.e., for PQRS, VBM, or Meaningful Use). CMS will continue to monitor implementation and adjust the duration if needed.
  • CMS will establish an ICD-10 Ombudsman to help receive and triage physician and provider problems that need to be resolved during the transition.
  • CMS will authorize advanced payments if Medicare contractors are unable to process claims within established time limits due to problems with ICD-10 implementation.

See these documents and websites for more information:

See a list of commonly used addiction treatment related ICD-10 codes.

AMA ICD-10 Transition Resources

ICD-10 FAQ from CMS

Road to 10: The Small Physician's Practice Route to ICD-10

ICD-10 Clinical Concepts Series: Family Practice

American College of Physicians: ICD-10 Tips

CMS FAQs about Claims Spanning October 1, 2015

SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) toolkit offers information and facts from the literature, and links to resources to prevent opioid-related overdoses and deaths. The toolkit is divided into four sections each target a specific audience: community members, first responders, prescribers, patients, and families.
Access the toolkit here.