On May 3, 2019 CMS issued Change Request 11248, which re-implements the Automated Multi-Channel Chemistry (AMCC) Lab Panel Claims Payment System Logic. This logic was introduced in 2017 but was suspended beginning CY 2018, due to the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA). PAMA required significant changes to how Medicare pays for Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Tests (CDLTs) under the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS). Under PAMA, reporting entities must report to CMS certain private payer rate information for their component applicable laboratories. The implementation of PAMA required Medicare to pay the weighted median of private payor rates for each separate HCPCS code, as one National fee schedule rate rather than individual rates per state.
Prior to PAMA, CMS paid for certain chemistry tests using Automated Test Panels (ATPs). ATPs used claims processing logic to apply a bundled rate to sets of these codes based off how many ATPs were ordered. The claims processing system would not pay more for all ATPs than the associated CPT Panel (80047-80081). Any duplicated chemistry tests across ATPs or separately billed without a 91 modifier are not counted in the ATP test total.
The below PDF will further illustrate the logic and the effect on reimbursement. The Ohio rate of the 2017 CLFS is used for this demonstration, as the 2019 CLFS has not been updated with ATP entries as of the time of this article.