Incomplete or Invalid Claims Processing Terminology

The following definitions apply to both assigned and unassigned claims:

Unprocessable Claim - Any claim with incomplete or missing, required information, or any claim that contains complete and necessary information; however, the information provided is invalid. Such information may either be required for all claims or required conditionally. Claims billed with unlisted HCPCS codes when valid codes are available are denied as unprocessable.

Incomplete Information - Missing, required, or conditional information on a claim (e.g., no National Provider Identifier (NPI) when effective).

Invalid Information - Complete required or conditional information on a claim that is illogical, or incorrect (e.g., incorrect NPI when effective), or no longer in effect (e.g., an expired number).

Required - Any data element that is needed in order to process a claim (e.g., supplier name, date of service).

Not Required - Any data element that is optional or is not needed by Medicare in order to process a claim (e.g., patient's marital status).

Conditional - Any data element that must be completed if other conditions exist (e.g., if there is insurance primary to Medicare, then the primary insurer's group name and number must be entered on a claim or if the insured is different from the patient, then the insured's name must be entered on a claim).

Return as Unprocessable or Return to Provider - Returning a claim as unprocessable to the provider does not mean the DME MAC should physically return every claim it received with incomplete or invalid information. The term "return to provider" is used to refer to the many processes utilized today for notifying the provider or supplier of service that their claim cannot be processed and it must be corrected or resubmitted. Some (not all) of the various techniques for returning claims as unprocessable include:

  • Incomplete or invalid information is detected at the front-end of the contractor's claim processing system. The claim is returned to the provider either electronically or in a hardcopy/checklist type form explaining the error(s) and how to correct the errors prior to resubmission. Claim data is not retained in the system for these claims. No remittance advice (RA) is issued.
  • Incomplete or invalid information is detected at the front-end of the claims processing system and is suspended and developed. If corrections and/or medical documentation are requested and submitted within a 45-day period, the claim is processed. Otherwise, the suspended portion is returned and the supplier or provider of service is notified by means of the RA.
  • Incomplete or invalid information is detected within the claims processing system and is rejected through the remittance process. Suppliers or providers of service are notified of any error(s) through the remittance notice and how to correct prior to resubmission. A record of the claim is retained in the system.
  • A claim returned as unprocessable for incomplete or invalid information does not meet the criteria to be considered as a claim, is not denied, and, as such, is not afforded appeal rights. These claims will have a remittance advice message of MA130.

 

Last Updated Mon, 12 Mar 2018 12:41:55 +0000