Health Information Management

CMS issues new NCDs on error prevention

APCs Insider, January 23, 2009

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CMS has issued three uniform National Coverage Determinations (NCDs) to clarify never events. The announcement includes the following definition of "surgical" that CMS will apply to the conditions cited in the NCDs:

Surgical and other invasive procedures are defined as operative procedures in which skin or mucous membranes and connective tissue are incised or an instrument is introduced through a natural body orifice. Invasive procedures include a range of procedures from minimally invasive dermatological procedures (biopsy, excision, and deep cryotherapy for malignant lesions) to extensive multi-organ transplantation. They include all procedures described by the codes in the surgery section of the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and other invasive procedures such as percutaneous transluminal angioplasty and cardiac catheterization. They include minimally invasive procedures involving biopsies or placement of probes or catheters requiring the entry into a body cavity through a needle or trocar. [Emphasis added.]

The NCDs can apply to payments not only to hospitals and physicians, but to “any other health care providers and suppliers involved in the erroneous surgeries,” according to the press release. The NCDs are effective immediately.



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