Cardiology Question for the Week of December 26, 2022

Question:

Do you have any tips for using the JW modifier when reporting low osmolar contrast media/non-ionic contrast?

Answer:

Understand that the JW modifier, billed on a separate line, will provide payment for the amount of discarded drug or biological. For example, a single-use vial that is labeled to contain 100 units of a drug has 95 units administered to the patient and 5 units discarded. The 95-unit dose is billed on one line, while the discarded 5 units shall be billed on another line by using the JW modifier. Both line items would be processed for payment. Providers must record the discarded amounts of drugs and biologicals in the patient’s medical record. The JW modifier is only applied to the amount of drug or biological that is discarded. A situation in which the JW modifier is not permitted is when the actual dose of the drug or biological administered is less than the billing unit. For example, one billing unit for a drug is equal to 10mg of the drug in a single-use vial. A 7mg dose is administered to a patient while 3mg of the remaining drug is discarded. The 7mg dose is billed using one billing unit that represents 10mg on a single line item. The single line item of 1 unit would be processed for payment of the total 10mg of drug administered and discarded. Billing another unit on a separate line item with the JW modifier for the discarded 3mg of drug is not permitted because it would result in overpayment. Therefore, when the billing unit is equal to or greater than the total actual dose and the amount discarded, the use of the JW modifier is not permitted. Note that the modifier does not apply to multi-dose vials (MDVs), which is the way that some contrast is dispensed, and at present, in the facility setting, the modifier only applies to separately payable drugs.

This question was answered in our Peripheral & Cardiology Coder. For more hot topics relating to cardiology services, please visit our store or call us at 1.800.252.1578, ext. 2.

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