CMS Establishes New Disaster Code, Modifier
BALTIMORE--A month after Hurricane Katrina hit, CMS has created a new condition code and modifier for disaster-related claims.
The new code and modifier, effective for dates of service on and after Aug. 21, will help facilitate claims processing and track services and items provided to victims of Katrina, as well as future disasters. According to CMS, many of its normal operating procedures have been relaxed to speed the provision of health care services to storm evacuees because many beneficiaries--and providers in host states--have no access to health care records or verification of patient status as Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries.
The new condition code is DR (Disaster Related), and the new modifier is CR (Catastrophe/Disaster Related).
For physicians or suppliers billing their local carrier or durable medical equipment regional carrier, only the modifier should be reported and not the condition code. CMS has instructed Medicare contractors to recognize the new code and modifier on Oct. 3, if possible, but no later than Oct. 31.
For more information on the new code and modifier, click here.