Hospice Care Services Code Conversion: TAR Policy Update

April 7, 2016

Effective for dates of service on or after June 1, 2016, HCPCS Level III local hospice codes will be discontinued. These codes will be replaced with HCPCS Level II national HIPAA-compliant codes utilized by Medicare to comply with provisions of the 1996 Public Law 104-191, 45 CFR 162.1000.

To view the full code conversion, including relevant additional instructions, see the Hospice Care Services Code Conversion and Billing Instructions.

Providers should prepare and submit Treatment Authorization Requests (TARs) according to the following instructions:

TAR Conversion Policy for Previously Approved TARs
All TARs with HCPCS Level III local hospice codes, regardless of status (approved, retroactive or deferred), will be end-dated for dates of service on or after June 1, 2016. Providers are encouraged to submit new TARs or electronic TARs (eTARs) with the appropriate HCPCS Level II national code(s) prior to June 1, 2016.

TARs Submitted After June 1, 2016
All TARs and eTARs submitted on or after June 1, 2016, requiring authorization beyond this date must include only HCPCS Level II national codes.

Medi-Cal strongly encourages the use of eTARs. Provider benefits when using the eTAR include savings in time and money, no mail delays or postage and a quicker response time. Additionally, the eTAR allows providers to check the status of their TAR at any time.

For additional information, providers should look for an upcoming eTAR seminar in their area. Providers may also refer to the Hospice section of the HIPAA: Code Conversions Web page on the Medi-Cal website, or call the Telephone Service Center at 1-800-541-5555.