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					ESAs


  A Comprehensive Review
Agenda
   The NCD in Review
   NCD Implementation in Review
   Billing Medicare for anemia/ ESAs
   The Labeling Change
   What about non-Medicare payers?
   FAQs
Disclaimer
 This presentation is valid for the day of
  presentation only.
 This presentation references Medicare policy
  only. Other payers may have other guidelines. It
  is the responsibility of the providers to ascertain
  this information.
 This presentation is not clinical, coding or legal
  advice.
 This presentation references products only insofar
  as they pertain to national policy and is not
  approved by any manufacturer.
These are your primary NCD
information sources…
 View the policy itself at
    http://www.cms.hhs.gov/mcd/viewdecisionmemo.asp?id
     =203
 View CMS FAQs
    http://www.cms.hhs.gov/mcd/ncpc_view_document.asp
     ?id=12
 View ASCO FAQs
    http://www.ascofoundation.org/portal/site/ASCO/menuit
     em.5d1b4bae73a9104ce277e89a320041a0/?vgnextoid
     =24be6e7507523110VgnVCM100000ed730ad1RCRD
  MEDICARE NATIONAL COVERAGE PROCESS

Preliminary
                                                                   Reconsideration
Discussions


  Benefit
  Category
                6 months                 30 days         60 days

                                                                    Final Decision
                                   Draft
 National                                                           Memorandum
                Staff            Decision           Public
 Coverage                                                                 and
                Review          Memorandum         Comments
 Request                                                           Implementation
                                  Posted
                                                                      Instructions


                          External
                         Technology
                         Assessment
                                          Staff                     Department
                                         Review                      Appeals
                          Medicare
                                                                      Board
                          Coverage
                          Advisory
                         Committee

              9 months
The Actual NCD
 Is a national coverage decision
    Overrides LCDs for diagnoses included in the decision.
     Diagnosis coding guidelines are still local.
    Cannot be reviewed by your CAC, MAC, FI, or Carrier
     Medical Director
    Applicable to Quality Improvement Organizations,
     qualified independent contractors (RACs??), Medicare
     Appeals Councils and Administrative Law Judges.
    Not applicable to Medicare Advantage, unless it
     expands coverage.
    Part D plans have been warned about the the NCD, but
     it is not binding.
The Actual Effective Dates
 July 30 2007
   This is the date for which you are responsible for this policy.
 September 30 2007
   The CMS contractors have until this time to put the policies in
       their system.
   This may lead to different billing and coding guidelines for
       some Carriers, but H/H not necessary for all Part B Carriers
       until 1/1/2008 as part of PQRI.
 January 1, 2008 is the date that you must “follow” the billing
  parameters.
 April 7, 2008 is the date that all billing parameters had to be
  followed by Carriers.
 August 14, 2008 was the date for the new label to be final.
The Medicare
 ESAs are NOT reasonable and necessary in these
  conditions, according to CMS
      Any anemia in cancer or cancer treatment of patients due to folate
       deficiency, B-12 deficiency, iron deficiency, hemolysis, bleeding, or
       bone marrow fibrosis;
      The anemia associated with AML or CML or erythroid cancers;
      The anemia of cancer not associated with treatment;
      Any anemia associated only with Radiation Therapy;
      Prophylactic use to prevent chemo-induced anemia;
      Prophylactic use to reduce tumor hypoxia;
      Patients with erythropoetin-type resistance due to neutralizing
       antibodies; and,
      Anemia due to cancer treatment IF the patient has uncontrolled
       hypertension.
What this means…
 Medicare will deny these codes:
         Any anemia or cancer treatment related to folate deficiency
          (281.2)
         B-12 deficiency (281.1, 281.3)
         Iron deficiency (280.0-280.9)
         Hemolysis (282.0, 282.2, 282.9, 283.0, 283.2, 283.9-283.10,
          283.19)
         Bleeding (280.0, 280.1)
         Anemia associated with the treatment of acute and chronic
          myelogenous leukemias (205.00-205.21, 205.80-205.91)
         Erythroid cancers (207.00-207.81)


        Source--Transmittal 1413, CR 5818, 1/14/08
What this means
 Effective for dates of service on or after January
  1, 2008, contractors shall deny all claims for
  HCPCS J0881 or J0885 billed with Modifier -EC
  for:
      The anemia of cancer not associated with treatment;
      Prophylactic use to prevent chemo-induced anemia;
      Prophylactic use to reduce tumor hypoxia;
      Patients with erythropoetin-type resistance due to neutralizing
       antibodies; and,
      Anemia due to cancer treatment IF the patient has uncontrolled
       hypertension.
   Source--Transmittal 1413, CR 5818, 1/14/08
What this means
 Effective for dates of service on and after
  January 1, 2008, contractors shall deny all
  claims for HCPCS J0881 or J0885 billed
  with Modifier -EB for:
   Anemia, radiotherapy-induced


        Source--Transmittal 1413, CR 5818, 1/14/08
The Actual Decision
 “We have also determined that ESA
  treatment for the anemia secondary to
  myelosuppressive anti-cancer
  chemotherapy in solid tumors, multiple
  myeloma, lymphoma, and lymphocytic
  leukemia is only reasonable and
  necessary under the following specified
  conditions…”
The Actual Decision
 Specified Conditions:
  1. The hemoglobin level immediately prior to
     initiation OR maintenance of ESA treatment is
     < 10 g/dL or hematocrit < 30%,
  2. The starting dose for ESA treatment is the
     recommended FDA starting dose, no more
     than 150U/kg (EPO) three times weekly or
     40,000 units weekly and 2.25 mcg/kg/weekly
     for darbepoetin or 500 mcg every 3 weeks.
The Actual Decision
 Specified Conditions:
  3.   Maintenance of ESA therapy is the starting dose, if the
       hemoglobin remains below 10g/dL (or hematocrit <
       30%) 4 weeks after initiation of therapy AND the rise in
       Hgb >/= 1g/dL (hematocrit >/= 3%).
  4.   If a patient’s hemoglobin rises <1g/dL compared to a
       pre-treatment baseline over 4 weeks of treatment and
       whose hemoglobin remains below 10g/dL (or Hct=
       30%), the FDA starting dose may be increased once
       by 25%. Continued use of the drug may not be
       reasonable and necessary if the hemoglobin rises < 1
       g/dL (Hct < 3%) compared to the pre-treatment
       baseline after 8 weeks of therapy.
The Actual Decision
 Specified Conditions
  5.   Continued administration of the drug is not reasonable
       and necessary if there is a rapid rise in hemoglobin > 1
       gm/dL (Hct > 3%) over 2 weeks of treatment, UNLESS
       the hemoglobin remains below or substantially falls to
       < 10 gm/dL (hct < 30%). Continuation and reinstitution
       of ESA therapy must include a dose reduction of 25%
       from previously administered dose, the H/H guidelines
       are met.
  6.   ESA treatment for each course of chemotherapy
       includes 8 weeks following the final dose of
       myelosuppressive chemotherapy in a given
       chemotherapy regimen.
What it means
 Effective for claims with dates of service on and
  after January 1, 2008, contractors shall deny non-
  ESRD ESA services for HCPCS J0881 or J0885
  with Modifier -EA for anemia secondary to
  myelosuppressive chemotherapy in solid tumors,
  multiple myeloma, lymphoma, and lymphocytic
  leukemia when…
       Hgb is 10.0g/dl or the Hct is 30% or greater and is
        reported. There is no four week moratorium in wiring;
        there is a hard edit.
       This contradicts the original policy.

    Source--Transmittal 1413, CR 5818, 1/14/08
What it means
 “Medicare contractors have the discretion
  to conduct medical review of claims and
  reverse the automated adjudication if the
  medical review results in clinical
  necessity…”
     Source--Transmittal 1413, CR 5818, 1/14/08
Billing
 Per Transmittal 1412, CR 5699:
      Claims for non-ESRD ESAs (J0881 and J0885) starting January 1, 2008 must include one
       of three modifiers: -EA (ESA, anemia, chemo-induced); -EB (ESA, anemia, radiotherapy-
       induced); and, -EC (ESA, anemia, non-chemotherapy or radiotherapy induced).
      Claims for any treatment of anemia associated with cancer treatment using drugs that are
       not self-administered must include the "most recent" hemoglobin or hematocrit level using
       a three digit format xx.x.
      Claims for ESAs (J0881, J0882, J0885, J0886, and Q4081) must include the "most recent"
       hemoglobin or hematocrit level using a three digit format xx.x.
      The level must be reported using xx.x format in Box 19 or, for electronic claims, providers
       must report levels in Loop 2400 MEA segment. Specifics of this reporting are MEA01 =
       TR (for test results); MEA02 = R1 (for hemoglobin) or R2 (for hematocrit); and, MEA03 =
       test results. The test results shall be entered as follows: TR= test results (backslash),
       R1=hemoglobin, or R2=hematocrit (backslash), and the most current numeric test result
       figure up to 3 numerics and a decimal point [xx.x]). Example for hemoglobin tests:
       TR/R1/9.0 (or 09.0--not clear in the transmittal), Example for hematocrit tests:
       TR/R2/27.0.
      "Contractors shall not retroactively search for claims with dates of service January
       1, through the implementation date [April 7, 2008], but may adjust claims if brought
       to their attention". Watch your MAC or Carrier web site for more details..
Billing
 All claims from 1/1/2008 that do not meet these specifications will
  be sent back as unprocessable. Reason Code 4 and Remark
  code MA 130 to return ESA services without the required
  modifier. Claims without the most recent hematocrit or
  hemoglobin will be sent back with Reason Code 16 and MA130
  and N395. The same Reason Code will be used for other anemia
  drugs.
   HOWEVER, the transmittal in Section 5699.12 says that "Contractors
    shall not retroactively search for claims with dates of service
    January 1, through the implementation date [April 7, 2008], but may
    adjust claims if brought to their attention". Watch your MAC or
    Carrier web site for more details..
ESA/Anemia Billing Summary
 If the patient has cancer and is on chemotherapy, submit the
  “most recent” hemoglobin must be <10 (or Hct < 30%). Bill the H
  or H results and use -EA. Follow Carrier guidelines for diagnosis
  coding.
 If the patient is on Radiotherapy, submit the latest H or H result,
  use -EB, and get denied.
 If the patient does not have chemotherapy-induced anemia (or
  ESRD), submit the latest H or H, use -EC, and follow your
  Carrier’s guidelines for coding and billing.
 If the patient has cancer and is on an anemia drug which is not
  self-administered, submit the latest H or H result. All other
  guidelines are at Carrier discretion.
The Label Change
 FDA, when unable to compromise on label
  changes to the cancer indications for ESAs,
  invoked its authority under 505(o)(4) of the Federal
  Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”) to require
  safety related label changes to ESAs to address
  the risk of increased mortality and/or tumor
  outcomes when patients are receiving cancer
  treatment and in cancer patients with anemia who
  are receiving no treatment.
The Label Change
 Label Changes
   “When the anticipated outcome of myelosuppressive
    chemotherapy is cure, Aranesp®/PROCRIT® is not
    indicated.” This does not say CONTRAINDICATED.
   Therapy should not be initiated at hemoglobin levels ≥ 10
    g/dL.
   Upper level of “exceeds 12g/dL” is deleted. May only
    dose until transfusion can be avoided. Level is different
    in every patient.
Other FDA Guidelines
 There must be a REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation)
  Strategy for ESAs. This can include
    A Medication Guide outlining the risks and benefits of use for
     all indications of ESAs. This should be distributed now.
    An easy to read and understand patient package insert with
     patient instructions for use,
    A communication plan evidencing that the elements to assure
     safe use have been relayed effectively to the patient,
    And an implementation or verification system assuring provider
     compliance, along with a timetable for assessment of the
     REMS.
 This is currently not final and will not be totally final until the end of
  the year.
What It Means
 “Anticipated outcome is cure”
    Studies have not been done on patients in the absence
     of metastatic disease. No data to support outcomes of
     patients where a cure is anticipated.
      Neo-adjuvant and adjuvant setting with tumor
        eradication, no metastases.
      No metastases?
      Cure versus prolonged survival/tumor shrinkage?.
      Is the treatment palliative?
      Must be a decision made in your practice…as in right
        now.
What It Means
 Treatment should not be initiated at
  hemoglobin levels ≥ 10 g/dL.
   Self-explanatory
   All patients treated like Medicare in the
    chemotherapeutic setting.
What It Means
 Upper level of 12 g/dL is deleted to read “Withhold
  dose if: hemoglobin exceeds a level needed to
  avoid transfusion”.
    No clinical benefit 10-12g/dL proven in clinical studies,
     according to FDA.
    Better mortality at lower levels with lower trigger.
    Basically, benefit versus risk analysis indicates that
     nothing past requirement for transfusion is beneficial.
What It Means
 REMS Strategy
   Similar to programs for Thalomid®, Revlimid®, Tysabri®-
    --but voluntary.
   Physicians must register to demonstrate compliance with
    patient consent and information dissemination.
   Patient consent with risks and benefits of therapy.
   A card proving that the patient has received information
    must be filed on each patient
   Patient medication guide now available at
    http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/RHE/default.h
    tm. This guide is for all ESA patients---not just those with
    cancer.
What Payers Will Do…Maybe
Status of the world right now
   Medicare has an NCD, which has caused no
    end of confusion and high denial rates.
   Medicare has not responded in any official way
    to the label change. They say “no code for
    ‘curative intent’”.
   Private payers are subject to payer policies and
    state laws. Many state insurance policies
    reference FDA labeling.
Medicare Label Rules
 “Drugs or biologicals approved for marketing by
  the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are
  considered safe and effective for purposes of this
  requirement when used for indications specified on
  the labeling.”
 Drugs are only considered ‘reasonable and
  necessary’ when safe and effective under the
  statute.
      Medicare Benefit Policy Manual, Chapter 15, Section
       50.4.1
Medicare Policy
 “If a medication is determined not to be reasonable and
  necessary for diagnosis or treatment of an illness or injury
  according to these guidelines, the carrier excludes the entire
  charge (i.e., for both the drug and its administration). Also,
  carriers exclude from payment any charges for other services
  (such as office visits) which were primarily for the purpose of
  administering a noncovered injection (i.e., an injection that is
  not reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of
  an illness or injury).”
    Medicare Benefit Policy Manual, Chapter 15, Section
       50.4.3
Medicare Rules
Will Medicare publish a new NCD?
   “60-90 day” window
   Current NCD hemoglobin levels are in line with
    the new label.
   AGAIN, “no code for ‘curative’ or anticipated
    cure”.
   REMS or any compliance program not really
    part of the billing process.
But, you still need to be in compliance with
 current rules.
Non-Medicare
Differences Medicare versus Non-Medicare
   Prior Authorization can determine compliance
    with labeling.
   Contract language and/or payer policy may
    cover drug labeling or FDA requirements.
   State insurance laws generally do specify
    relationship of FDA labeling and coverage. This
    is applicable to non-ERISA plans.
Questions & Answers
 Is there a requirement to test the hemoglobin at 5th week of ESA
  administration?
 CMS Response: CMS did not mandate how frequently a
  physician monitors their patient’s hemoglobin (hematocrit) level.
  However, continued coverage of ESA therapy is dependent of
  the beneficiary continuing to meet the coverage requirements.
  But, this must be the ‘latest’ test result.
Questions & Answers
   What if, in week five, the patient’s hemoglobin is 11g/dl (whether the
    doctor knows it or not), does/should ESA coverage continue?
   CMS Response: CMS does not provide coverage, that is, will not pay a
    claim, for the administration of ESAs unless the hemoglobin level
    immediately prior to initiation or maintenance of ESA treatment is < 10
    g/dL (or the hematocrit is < 30%). Thus we would not expect to pay ESA
    claims that are not accompanied by a timely hemoglobin or hematocrit
Questions & Answers
 What does “equivalent doses may be given over other
  approved time periods” mean?
 ASCO Clarification: All FDA-approved dosing regimens are
  covered under the NCD. Therefore, for EPO, will cover the
  labeled once per week dosing and, for darbepoetin, they
  will cover the alternative flat dose every three weeks that is
  listed in the label.
Questions & Answers
 Do I need to report any modifiers on these claims?
 ASH Response: Yes. Effective January 1, 2008, all non-
  ESRD claims for administrations of ESAs reporting either
  the most recent hematocrit or hemoglobin level, must
  contain one of the following three modifiers:
        EA: ESA, anemia, chemo-induced
        EB: ESA, anemia, radio-induced
        EC: ESA, anemia, non-chemo/radio
 Professional claims that are billed without the required
  modifiers will be returned.
Questions & Answers
   Do I need to draw the hemoglobin or hematocrit level each time an ESA
    is administered?

   ASH Response: No you do not. CMS has clarified in the 2008 Final
    Physician Rule that this mandate does not mean that the hemoglobin or
    hematocrit level should be drawn each time an ESA is administered.
    The requirement is that "the most recent" hemoglobin or hematocrit level
    be reported on the claim. Thus, the provider should report the most
    recent level preceding the ESA administration. CMS recognizes that in
    some instances the same hemoglobin or hematocrit value might be
    reported on more than one claim.
Questions & Answers
 Wouldn't the imposition of a ceiling of hemoglobin 10 g/dL
  (hematocrit 30%) override the physician discretion on an FDA
  label to use the lowest dose sufficient to avoid transfusions, not
  to exceed 12g/dl?
 CMS Response: We are unaware of robust clinical evidence that
  transfusion is indicated for patients whose hemoglobin is less
  than 10g/dL. In fact, evidence based reviews of transfusion
  thresholds generally note 7 or 8 g/dL as the clinically appropriate
  transfusion threshold. NCDs instruct Medicare contractors on the
  payment of claims; they do not prohibit a physician from
  administering any treatment that he or she believes is indicated.
Questions & Answers
 Is there some warning about head and
  neck cancer and breast cancer?
   No, these were proposed in the original
    labeling draft from ODAC, but were not
    included in the final labeling.
Questions & Answers
 Do you think all payers will use CMS
  guidelines for the upper limit of dosing?
   Since the upper limit is not defined, they may
    not define it, since it is not specific in the label..
   CMS has not changed their NCD.
Questions & Answers
When should we start treating patients
 according to label?
   Always up to the doctor, but the label was final
    officially August 14, 2008.
   Labeling changes ONLY apply to CIA patients.
   Labeling DOES NOT apply to HIV/AIDS, CRF,
    MDS, chronic disease, etc.
Questions & Answers
 Does the NCD parameter of dosing only up
  to 10 g/dL apply to all indications?
   No, this only applies to the chemotherapy-
    induced anemia, myelosuppressive setting.
   This only applies to Medicare patients, at the
    current time. Other payers may elect to use it--
    but this is CMS policy.
Drug Hotlines
 AMGEN Reimbursement Connection® (800--272-
  9376)
     Speak to a reimbursement expert who specializes in the insurance policies of your region.
     Payor policy research and information--Have our reimbursement experts research payor coverage,
      coding, and reimbursement policies.
     Insurance verification assistance--Let us assist you in verifying your patients' benefits and identifying
      insurer coverage guidelines.
     Prior authorization assistance--Allow us to research your patients' prior authorization requirements,
      help you obtain prior authorization, and remind you when the next prior authorizations are needed.
     Claim review and reconciliation--Helps you track the progress of your claims and, when needed, work
      with the insurer to identify the reason(s) for denied or underpaid claims and necessary actions to
      resolve the problem.
     Coordination of benefits--Coordinate primary and secondary coverage for collection of co-payments or
      co-insurance.
     Alternative sources of payment--Ask us to help identify alternative coverage sources for Amgen
      products -- Non-Profit Co-Payment Assistance Programs
     Support Programs--Let us provide information on the SAFETY NET® Foundation for medically
      indigent patients.
Drug Hotlines
 PROCRITline® (800-553-3851)
   Staffed by insurance specialists who provide
    reimbursement counsel, assistance in claims
    submissions and appeals, free carrier intervention
    services, "letters of medical necessity," etc., regarding
    all qualified nondialysis patients undergoing therapy
    with the anti-anemia product PROCRIT®.

   PROCRITline® also provides information about
    qualifying for and enrolling in the following financial
    support programs offered by Ortho Biotech.
Strategies for Practices
   Determine what ‘curative intent’ means in your practice.
   Based on the NCD, you should assess the impact of the usage changes on your
     Drug costs
     Drug reimbursement
     Drug rebates
   Once you have done this
     Check the change in profitability.
     Check the change in operating cash.
   Participate in the struggle!
     Get involved in the ‘prompt pay’
     Other actions

				
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