Intravenous Hydration - MT Service Specific Post-Payment Final Findings

CMS is required by the Social Security Act to ensure that payment is made only for those medical services that are reasonable and necessary. Noridian’s priority is to minimize potential future losses to the Medicare Trust Fund by preventing inappropriate Medicare payments. This is accomplished through provider education, training, and the medical review of claims. A post-payment review has been initiated based on data analysis.

This is to update providers of the claim review findings and closure of the file of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code 96360 for MT.

Summary of Findings

Since the initiation of the review, 100 claims were reviewed from September 25, 2020 through February 12, 2021 with an overall claim error rate of 67% and payment error rate of 70.8%. The breakdown of those findings are as follows:

  • 33 claims were accepted
  • 1 claim was partially denied for the following reasons:
    • Documentation did not support medical necessity of services on all dates of service billed.
    • Documentation did not support the total number of units billed.
  • 66 claims were denied in full for the following reasons:
    • Documentation did not support medical necessity of the services billed.
    • Documentation was not received timely in response to the additional documentation request (ADR).

If you are a provider that had claims involved in the review sample and disagree with a claim determination, the normal appeal process may be followed as directed on the Noridian website under Appeals or as directed in your claim remittance advice.


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Hydration Coding Requirements

The Local Coverage Article: Billing and Coding: Hydration Services A52732 was created to assist with the proper use of the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes 96360 and 96361. Per the CPT® manual, these codes are intended to report an intravenous (IV) hydration infusion consisting of a pre-packaged fluid and electrolytes. These codes should not be used to report infusions of drugs or other substances. The hydration codes were developed to report the interventions provided to patient’s presenting with dehydration and volume loss that require clinically necessary IV fluids.

In order to bill the hydration codes, the overall documentation submitted must support a clinical assessment that describes symptoms warranting hydration such as signs and/or symptoms of dehydration, fluid loss, inability to ingest fluids or clear contraindication to oral intake, abnormal vital signs and/or laboratory studies. If the final clinical assessment does not support the medical necessity for IV hydration, CPT® 96360 and/or 96361 should not be billed.

The local coverage article also addresses situations in which patient’s receive IV fluids for the correction of dehydration or prevention of nephrotoxicity. The article lists two scenarios in which therapeutic fluid administration is medically necessary in these cases. They include:

  • Correction of dehydration or prevention of nephrotoxicity immediately before or after transfusion, chemotherapy or administration of potentially nephrotoxic medications; and/or
  • Immediately before or after IV contrast infusion for a diagnostic procedure in a patient with renal insufficiency.
Documentation Supporting Infusion Units Billed Per guidelines found in the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) manual, when reporting codes for which infusion time is a factor, use the actual time over which the infusion is administered. The CPT® manual includes descriptors and guidelines when billing codes for hydration, chemotherapy, infusion, or injections. In order to evaluate the actual time of a hydration or infusion/injection services, it is important that the medical record include either documentation of the total infusion time OR both the start time, when the infusion starts dripping, and the stop time, when the infusion stops dripping, to support the services billed.
Correct Billing Units for Administration Per Internet Only Manual (IOM), Publication 100-04, Medicare Claims Processing Manual (MCPM), Chapter 4, Section 230.2, providers are expected to report administration according to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code descriptors, CPT® instructions, and correct coding criteria. Only one initial hydration administration service should be reported per access site, including services that span more than one calendar day. When billing CPT® codes for additional hour(s) of infusion it is important to note the infusion start and stop time to correctly bill units.
Timely Submission of Documentation and 569PPs It is the responsibility of Medicare providers to submit all documentation requested on the additional documentation requests (ADR) within the allotted time frame. Noridian allows 45 calendar days for the medical records to be received per the ADR request for post-payment reviews. On day 46, if the medical records have not been received, the claim will be denied provider liable with reason code 569PP. If there is no documentation to complete the medical review (MR), services billed on the claim cannot be supported.

A redetermination request should be submitted to Noridian within 120 days from the date of the 569PP denial. Contractors shall reopen the claim for review as long as all conditions are met. The determination made on the reopening claim has the potential to reverse non-covered dollars.

For additional information, refer to Internet-only Manual Pub 100-08, Chapter 3, Section, 42 CFR 424.5(a)(6), and Social Security Act sections 1815(a), 1833(e) and 1862(a)(1)(A).
Physician Order An order is a communication from the treating practitioner for medication to be given. The order for the medication must include the medication name, dose, route and frequency. The patient’s name must be on the order form along with the practitioner’s signature, date and time. The order must be legible.

When a medication is given, the nurse must administer as ordered. If any part of the order is missing or incorrect the nurse should contact the provider for clarification and document the new order.

For additional information, reference Internet Only Manual (IOM), Publication 100-08 Medicare Program Integrity Manual, Chapter 3, Section and



View references used in review. Further educational opportunities may be found under Education and Outreach. If you are in need of an individualized education training event, contact the POE Department at If you need coding assistance, please check your CPT®, HCPCS, ICD-10 books and your specific association.

Provider Action Required

File results and trending errors are being shared with all providers to assess compliance and billing practices if the service is provided within your facility. If your facility had claim documentation requested for this review, please refer to the individual result letter you received. You can also access individual determinations for claims that were requested from your facility by reviewing comments in either DDE or on the Noridian Medicare Portal (NMP).

Further provider action recommended includes:

  • Provide education regarding errors noted to applicable staff members.
  • Verify documentation supports medical necessity of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code 96360.


This service specific post-payment file is now closed for MT and Noridian will no longer request documentation for this review. Noridian will continue to monitor data analysis and perform medical review for medical necessity and appropriate coding practices.

If you have any other questions, contact the JF Provider Contact Center at 1-877-908-8431.


Last Updated Mon, 05 Apr 2021 15:20:33 +0000