Updated for Quarter 3, 2021
The National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI, or more commonly, CCI) is an automated edit system to control specific Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code pairs that can be reported by an individual provider on the same day for the same patient. This page provides Medicare Part B edits for code pairs commonly reported by speech-language pathologists (SLPs). For questions, please contact email@example.com.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) developed the edits for use on all Medicare Part B (outpatient) claims. They include CCI edits for provider-based services provided in clinics, private practices, and physician offices, and Outpatient Code Editor (OCE) edits for outpatient hospital and other facility-based services, including skilled nursing facilities, comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities, and certain home health services. State Medicaid agencies are also required to use CCI edits, but may modify them to meet their own programmatic needs. Other third-party payers may also adopt CCI edits. Please check with non-Medicare payers regarding their use of CCI edits.
SLPs should also be aware of Medically Unlikely Edit (MUE) restrictions, which are a subset of CCI edits that limit the number of times individual CPT codes may be billed on the same day, for the same patient.
Please see ASHA's overview of the NCCI system for additional information and resources, including appropriate use of modifiers. SLPs should also review Chapter 1 of the official NCCI Policy Manual for detailed guidance from CMS. Chapter 11, Section H (Otorhinolaryngologic Services) of the manual provides additional guidance related to speech-language pathology services. Here are some key things SLPs need to know about CCI and OCE edits.
CMS updates CCI and OCE quarterly.
SLPs should check this resource regularly because CMS makes quarterly updates, beginning on January 1 of each year. ASHA reviews the changes and makes updates to the speech-language pathology table, as needed. The July 2021 quarterly updates did not include changes to speech-language pathology related code pairs.
Code pairs should apply to the provider, not the facility or office where services were provided.
According to CMS's NCCI FAQs, each code pair applies when reported by the same provider/supplier, for the same patient, on the same date of service. This may be complicated when billing under a clinic or facility's group number. Be sure the rendering provider's information is associated with each CPT code on the claim to avoid potential denials based on CCI or OCE edits.
Not all codes have a CCI or OCE edit.
Keep in mind that not all codes have a CCI or OCE edit. If you don't see a speech-language pathology related code pair listed here, it means they aren't subject to CCI restrictions and can be billed on the same day without a modifier. However, remember that the NCCI system doesn't include all possible combinations of correct coding edits or types of unbundling that exist. You are obligated to code correctly even if edits don't exist to prevent use of an inappropriate code combination.
SLPs can't pair most codes in the physical medicine series (e.g., 97129) with a speech-language pathology related code (e.g., 92507).
Although not all code pairs are explicitly listed in the CCI edits, Chapter 11, Section H-2 of the Medicare NCCI Policy Manual states that SLPs can't report "CPT codes 97110, 97112, 97150, 97530, 97129 as unbundled services included in the services coded as 92507, 92508, or 92526". In addition, Section H-3 notes that a single practitioner, such as an SLP, should not bill CPT codes 92507 or 92508 on the same date of service as 97129/97130 or 97533. For more information on the use of physical medicine codes see the Medicare Coding Rules for SLPs. For more on billing for cognitive therapy, see Coding and Payment for Cognitive Evaluation and Treatment Services.
Learn when to appropriately use modifier -59 or its subcategory modifiers to bypass an edit.
This resource lists only code pairs with a CCI edit restriction and outlines whether the restriction can be bypassed with an NCCI-associated modifier. Although there are a number of NCCI-associated modifiers, modifier -59 (distinct procedural service) is the only one used with speech-language pathology related edits. Some payers may require a more specific set of subcategory modifiers. Use these modifiers instead of (not in addition to) modifier -59.
Use modifiers to bypass CCI edits sparingly and only when clinically justified. Don't append a modifier to a code pair solely to bypass a CCI edit if the clinical circumstances don't justify its use. In addition, don't use modifier -59 (or a subcategory modifier) if it isn't specifically required by the NCCI system, as this could cause denials. Please review CMS's resource on modifier -59 [PDF] for additional guidance.
ASHA derived the following speech-language pathology related CCI and OCE edits from the complete lists of edits published on the CMS website. ASHA reviews CMS's quarterly updates and makes changes, as needed.
Column 1 lists the payable code. Column 1 codes should always be listed first on the claim.
Column 2 lists the code that is not payable when paired with the Column 1 code, unless a modifier is permitted. If permitted, append the modifier to the Column 2 code when submitting the claim.
Column 3 indicates whether a modifier is permitted to bypass the edit in both office and facility-based settings.
Note: Quarterly CCI edit changes are bolded in the table. There are no changes to this table for Q3.
CPT Code (one)
Paired With (one)
|Can be bypassed with modifier -59? (Yes/No)|
Outpatient hospital & facility settings
|92507, 92508||97129 and 97130, 97533||N (when an SLP provides both)||N (when an SLP provides both)|
|92507||97153, 97154, 97155, 97156, 97157, 97158||N||N|
|92508||97154, 97155, 97156, 97157, 97158||N||N/A|
|92523||92522, 92620, 92621||N||N|
|92526||92511, 92520, 97129 and 97130, 97150||Y||Y|
|92607||92507, 92508, 92521, 92522, 92523, 92524, 92609||Y||Y|
|92609||92507, 92508, 92521, 92522, 92523, 92524||Y||Y|
|92611||70370, 92511, 92610||Y||Y|
|92611||70371, 76120, 76125||N||N|
|92612, 92613, 92614, 92615, 92616, 92617||92610, 92611||Y||Y|
|92612||76120, 76125, 31575, 92511, 92520, 92614||N||N|
|92613||76120, 76125, 92520||N||N|
|92614||76120, 76125, 31575, 92511, 92520||N||N|
|92615||76120, 76125, 92520, 92613||N||N|
|92616||31575, 76120, 76125, 92511, 92520, 92612, 92614||N||N|
|92617||76120, 76125, 92520, 92613, 92615||N||N|
|96105, 96110, 96113, 96125||97151, 97152, 97153, 97154, 97155, 97156, 97157, 97158||N||N/A|
|96112, 96113||96105, 96125||Y||Y|
|96112||97151, 97152, 97153, 97154, 97155, 97156, 97157, 97158||N||Y|
|97151, 97152||96105, 96110, 96113, 96125||N/A||Y|
|97153||92507, 96105, 96110, 96113, 96125||N/A||Y|
|97154||92507, 92508, 96105, 96110, 96113, 96125||N/A||Y|
|97155, 97156, 97157||92507, 92508, 96105, 96110, 96113, 96125, 97129, 97533||N/A||Y|
|97158||92508, 96105, 96110, 96113, 96125, 97533||N/A||Y|