42 CFR § 405.512 - Carriers' procedural terminology and coding systems.

§ 405.512 Carriers' procedural terminology and coding systems.

(a) General. Procedural terminology and coding systems are designed to provide physicians and third party payers with a common language that accurately describes the kinds and levels of services provided and that can serve as a basis for coverage and payment determinations.

(b) Modification of terminology and/or coding systems. A carrier that wishes to modify its system of procedural terminology and coding shall submit its request to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services with all pertinent data and information for approval before the revision is implemented. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will evaluate the proposal in the light of the guidelines specified in paragraph (c) of this section and such other considerations as may be pertinent, and consult with the Assistant Secretary for Health. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will approve such a revision if it determines that the potential advantages of the proposed new system, outweigh the disadvantages.

(c) Guidelines. The following considerations and guidelines are taken into account in evaluating a carrier's proposal to change its system of procedural terminology and coding:

(1) The rationale for converting to the new terminology and coding;

(2) The estimated short-run and long-run impact on the cost of the health insurance program, other medical care costs, administrative expenses, and the reliability of the estimates;

(3) The degree to which the conversion to the proposed new terminology and coding can be accomplished in a way that permits full implementation of the reasonable charge criteria in accordance with the provisions of this subpart;

(4) The degree to which the proposed new terminology and coding are accepted by physicians in the carrier's area (physician acceptance is assumed only if a majority of the Medicare and non-Medicare bills and claims completed by physicians in the area and submitted to the carrier can reasonably be expected to utilize the proposed new terminology and coding);

(5) The extent to which the proposed new terminology and coding system is used by the carrier in its non-Medicare business;

(6) The clarity with which the proposed system defines its terminology and whether the system lends itself to:

(i) Accurate determinations of coverage;

(ii) Proper assessment of the appropriate level of payment; and

(iii) Meeting the carrier's or Professional Standards Review Organizations' review needs and such other review needs as may be appropriate;

(7) Compatibility of the new terminology and coding system with other systems that the carrier and other carriers may utilize in the administration of the Medicare program - e.g., its compatibility with systems and statistical requirements and with the historical data in the carrier's processing system; and

(8) Compatibility of the proposed system with the carriers methods for determining payment under the fee schedule for physicians' services for services which are identified by a single element of terminology but which may vary in content.

[40 FR 7639, Feb. 21, 1975. Redesignated at 42 FR 52826, Sept. 30, 1977, as amended at 59 FR 10298, Mar. 4, 1994]