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NJPTAid Newservice Item: New Coding Information Clearinghouse

The news release below reports on the creation of an information clearinghouse for coding questions. While a specific form must be utilized for these questions, this is an extremely useful and important service for providers to utilize. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of it.

In a joint effort to improve billing and data quality, the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have joined together in establishing the AHA clearinghouse to handle coding questions on established Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) usage. The American Health Information Management (AHIMA) will also provide input through the Editorial Advisory Board.

The clearinghouse will serve as a centralized point of contact to educate hospitals, policy makers and the public on HCPCS coding. Hospitals and health care professionals have experienced a growing need for greater consistency and improved understanding of HCPCS coding in the wake of implementation of prospective payment methods that utilize HCPCS coding for billing and payment purposes.

The AHA's Central Office will handle the clearinghouse functions and provide open access to any person or organization that has questions regarding a subset of HCPCS coding, particularly hospitals and other health professionals who bill under the hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS). Inquiries on the application of level I HCPCS codes (CPT-4) for physicians will be referred to the American Medical Association. Level II HCPCS codes related to durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and other supplies should be referred to Durable Medical Equipment Regional Carriers (DMERCs) or their successors, the DME Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs).

HCPCS-related questions must be submitted in the approved form, which you can download from the AHA website at, and either faxed or mailed directly to the AHA Central Office. Be advised that it is difficult to provide coding responses to generic scenarios without specific information. Refer to the form for additional information that should be submitted with your coding question(s).

The mailing address and fax number for HCPCS-related questions are as follows:
Central Office on HCPCS
American Hospital Association
One North Franklin
Chicago, IL 60606
Fax: 312-422-4583

Coding question information is also available at on the CMS website.

For general HCPCS information, go to on the CMS website.