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Billing Reminder: Nebulizers – Pharmacy Dispensing Fees for Inhalation Drugs

Recent reviews of nebulizers and inhalation drugs have identified incorrect billing for inhalation drug dispensing fees. This article will review the billing requirements.

An initial dispensing fee (G0333) is payable to a pharmacy for the initial 30-day supply of covered inhalation drug(s) regardless of the number of drugs dispensed, the number of shipments, or the number of pharmacies used by the beneficiary during that time. This initial 30-day dispensing fee is a once in a lifetime fee and only applies to beneficiaries who are using inhalation drugs for the first time as a Medicare beneficiary on or after 01/01/2006.

If code G0333 is billed for a 30-day supply of covered inhalation drugs and it is not the initial 30-day supply (i.e., G0333 has already been billed to Medicare for that beneficiary), the claim will be denied as incorrect coding.

When code G0333 has been billed once in a beneficiary’s lifetime, subsequent claims for a 30-day dispensing fee must be billed using code Q0513.

Medicare will only pay for one of the following for covered inhalation drugs regardless of the number of drugs dispensed, the number of shipments, or the number of pharmacies used by the beneficiary during that time period-an initial dispensing fee (G0333), a 30-day dispensing fee (Q0513), or a 90-day dispensing fee (Q0514).

For a refill prescription, payment of a dispensing fee will be allowed no sooner than seven days before the end of usage for the current 30-day or 90-day period for which a dispensing fee was previously paid. Medicare will not pay for more than 12 months of dispensing fees per beneficiary per 12-month period.

If the dispensing fee is billed sooner than the interval specified above, it will be denied as not separately payable. For example, if a 90-day fee (Q0514) is billed on 1/30/06 and is covered and there is a subsequent claim for a 30-day fee (Q0513) on 4/20/06, the dispensing fee on 4/20/06 will be denied as not separately payable.

Both a Q0513 and a Q0514 dispensing fee are not covered on the same date of service.

If a supplier dispenses a 90-day supply of one drug and a 30-day supply of another drug on the same day, code Q0514 (90-day fee) must be billed.

The dispensing fee must be billed on the same claim as the inhalation drug(s). If it is not, it will be denied as incorrect billing.

A dispensing fee is not separately billable or payable for saline, whether used as a diluent or for humidification therapy.

Medicare will not pay for a separate fee for the compounding of inhalation drug(s).

Refer to the nebulizer local coverage determination on the National Government Services Web site, related policy article, and to the Jurisdiction B DME MAC Supplier Manual for additional information about coverage, billing and documentation requirements.

Billing Reminder: Nebulizers – Pharmacy Dispensing Fees for Inhalation Drugs
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