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CMS Delays Policy on Unused Medicare Part B Drugs

Hospitals now have until Jan. 3, 2017, to implement a new claims coding and patient documentation policy for unused Medicare Part B drugs. The new policy pushes the effective date from July 1 to Jan. 1, 2017.

The policy requires that health care providers report the amount discarded when Part B drugs administered from single-use vials or packages are not used in their entirety. The notation must be made in both the patient record and on claims forms, using a JW modifier.

America’s Essential Hospitals supports the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ decision to delay implementation of the JW modifier to give hospitals more time to update electronic health record systems, train staff, and ensure patient safety, as the change will require the documentation of two amounts of medication for a single administration.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Rachel Schwartz is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.