Medi-Cal Logo

Medi-Cal Update

Psychological Services | March 2021 | Bulletin 546

Print Medi-Cal Update Print Icon

1. Updated CCS COVID-19 Guidance, CCS FAQs and COVID Vaccine Flexibilities

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) recently developed and posted the following documents to the COVID-19 Information for Providers & Partners web page to provide Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) related guidance for the California Children’s Services (CCS) Program:

  1. Updated CCS COVID-19 Guidance

  2. CCS FAQs for COVID-19 Flexibilities

  3. Flexibilities for County Staff during COVID Vaccine Administration

These documents are also available on the CCS Letters web page.

2. Rates for Certain COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing HCPCS Codes Updated

Effective for dates of service on or after January 1, 2021, the base payment amount for HCPCS Codes U0003 (Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid [DNA or RNA]; Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2] [Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)], amplified probe technique, making use of high throughput technologies as described by CMS-2020-01-R), and U0004 (2019-nCoV Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2/2019-nCoV [COVID-19], any technique, multiple types or subtypes [includes all targets], non-CDC, making use of high throughput technologies as described by CMS-2020-01-R), has been adjusted from $100 to $75.

HCPCS Code Description Current Rate New Rate
U0003 SARS Cov-2 COVID-19 Amp prob high throughput $100.00 $75.00
U0004 COVID-19 lab test non-CDC high throughput $100.00 $75.00

Additionally, the codes listed above will be exempt from the 10 percent payment reductions in Welfare and Institutions Code (W&I Code) section 14105.192, as described at Attachment 4.19-B, page 3.3, paragraph 13 of the State Plan.

An Erroneous Payment Correction (EPC) will be issued for affected claims for codes U0003 and U0004 retroactive to dates of service on or after January 1, 2021.

3. New ICD-10-CM and ICD-10 PCS Diagnosis Codes Related to COVID-19

Effective for dates of service on or after January 1, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has added new ICD-10-CM codes and ICD-10 PCS codes for diagnoses related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Information and downloads for these codes can be found on the ICD-10 page of the CMS website. Specific billing policy related to this update will be published in a future Medi-Cal Update and Family PACT Update.

4. CCS Program and GHPP Require Separate SAR for Risdiplam

Effective retroactively for dates of service on or after August 1, 2020, the California Children’s Services (CCS) program and the Genetically Handicapped Persons Program (GHPP) require a separate Service Authorization Request (SAR) for risdiplam. This drug is not included in a physician service code grouping (SCG).

Provider Manual(s) Page(s) Updated
Audiology and Hearing Aids
Chronic Dialysis Clinics
Clinics and Hospitals
Durable Medical Equipment
General Medicine
Home Health Agencies/Home and Community-Based Services
Inpatient Services
Local Educational Agency
Medical Transportation
Orthotics and Prosthetics
Psychological Services
Rehabilitation Clinics
Vision Care
cal child sar (8, 9); genetic (10, 11)

5. National Correct Coding Initiative Quarterly Update for April 2021

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the quarterly National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) payment policy updates. These mandatory national edits have been incorporated into the Medi-Cal claims processing system and are effective for dates of service on or after April 1, 2021.

For additional information, refer to The National Correct Coding Initiative in Medicaid page of the Medicaid website.

6. Get the Latest Medi-Cal News: Subscribe to MCSS Today

The Medi-Cal Subscription Service (MCSS) is a free service that keeps you up-to-date on the latest Medi-Cal news. Subscribers receive subject-specific emails shortly after urgent announcements and other updates post on the Medi-Cal website.

Subscribing is simple and free!

  1. Go to the MCSS Subscriber Form

  2. Enter your email address and ZIP code and select a subscriber type

  3. Customize your subscription by selecting subject areas for NewsFlash announcements, Medi-Cal Update bulletins and/or System Status Alerts

After submitting the form, a welcome email will be sent to the provided email address. If you are unable to locate the welcome email in your inbox, check your junk email folder.

For more information about MCSS, please visit the MCSS Help page.

7. Provider Manual Revisions

Pages updated due to ongoing provider manual revisions:

Download PDF (Portable Document Format) reader from the Web Tool Box.