Per the final rule published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Nov. 13, 2014 – “CPT revised the lower gastrointestinal endoscopy code set for CY 2015 following identification of some of the codes as potentially misvalued and the affected specialty society's contention that this code set did not allow for accurate reporting of services based upon the current practice. The RUC subsequently provided recommendations to CMS for valuing these services. In comments on the proposed rule, stakeholders noted our proposal to begin including proposed values for new, revised and potentially misvalued codes in the proposed rule.
Commenters suggested that, rather than implementing this new process in CY 2016, we should implement it immediately and thus defer the valuation of the new GI code set until CY 2016. They indicated that the opportunity to comment prior to implementation of the new values was important for these codes, many of which have high utilization. In addition, in this final rule with comment period we discuss the need to modify how moderate sedation is reported and valued. Since the valuation of most codes in this code set includes moderate sedation, stakeholders suggested that we revalue these codes in conjunction with any changes in reporting and valuation of moderate sedation.
We [CMS] agree with the commenters. In light of the substantial nature of this code revision and its relationship to the policies on moderate sedation, we are delaying revaluation of these codes until CY 2016 when we will be able to include proposals in the proposed rule for their valuation, along with consideration of policies for moderate sedation. Accordingly for CY 2015, we are maintaining the inputs for the lower gastrointestinal endoscopy codes at the CY 2014 levels. (Note: Due to budget neutrality adjustments and other system-wide changes, the payment rates may change.)
Since the code set is changing for CY 2015, including the deletion of some of the CY 2014 codes, we are creating G-codes as necessary to allow practitioners to report services to CMS in the same way in CY 2015 that they did in CY 2014 and to maintain payment under the PFS based on the same inputs. All payment policies applicable to the CY 2014 CPT codes will apply to the replacement G-codes. The new and revised CY 2015 CPT codes for lower gastrointestinal endoscopy that will not be recognized by Medicare for CY 2015 are denoted with an ‘I’ (Not valid for Medicare purposes) in Table 26."1
Table 26 — Lower Gastrointestinal Endoscopy G-Codes Replacing CY 2015 CPT Codes