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09 Jul

A payor reimbursement expert explains the difference between G codes and CPT codes for unattended sleep studies.

G codes are Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes assigned by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to track utilization of services and procedures.

The G codes are temporary codes used by CMS to track utilization before services and procedures are designated Current Procedure Terminology (CPT) codes. G codes are reimbursed using CMS carrier pricing, established by the local CMS jurisdiction fee schedule.

The G codes are retired at the discretion of CMS—typically after services and procedures are assigned permanent CPT codes. However, home sleep apnea testing (HSAT) G codes, established in 2008, have not yet been retired by CMS, despite the establishment of permanent CPT codes for HSAT testing, and this has led to some confusion among HSAT providers.

The use of G codes in lieu of CPT codes to report HSAT testing is dependent upon the insurance carrier. So sleep professionals must use whichever type of code the patient’s health plan requires.

Adding to the potential confusion: The G codes do not directly crosswalk to the CPT codes. There are currently 3 G codes and 3 CPT codes for HSAT, but they do not directly correlate. Therefore, the HSAT provider should understand the description of each code (listed below).

The G-Codes for HSAT

G0398: Home sleep study test with type II portable monitor; unattended; minimum of 7 channels: EEG, EOG, EMG, ECG/heart rate, airflow, respiratory effort, and oxygen saturation

G0399: Home sleep test with type III portable monitor; unattended; minimum of 4 channels: 2 respiratory movement/airflow, 1 ECG/heart rate and 1 oxygen saturation

G0400: Home sleep test with type IV portable monitor; unattended; minimum of 3 channels

The CPT Codes for HSAT

95800: Sleep study, unattended, simultaneous recording; heart rate, oxygen saturation, respiratory analysis (eg, by airflow or peripheral arterial tone), and sleep time

95801: Sleep study, unattended, simultaneous recording; minimum of heart rate, oxygen saturation, and respiratory analysis (eg, by airflow or peripheral arterial tone)

95806: Sleep study, unattended, simultaneous recording of, heart rate, oxygen saturation, respiratory airflow, and respiratory effort (eg, thoracoabdominal movement)

Amy J. Aronsky, DO, FAASM, is medical director at CareCentrix Inc and a member of Sleep Review’s editorial advisory board.

Have sleep medicine payor reimbursement questions? Leave your question in the comments section, and Aronsky may answer it in a future column.

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30 Jun

Amanda Hof-Tiernan said she had a good week after having spent a lot of time with her wife. 

“You’ve been making progress,” Judge Jeffrey Connolly told the 30-year-old Rapid City resident. 

Others sitting with Hof-Tiernan in the jury box at the state court in Rapid City last Tuesday also had good weeks.

A smiling, energetic man said he’d been sober all week after staying away from bad influences. A woman sitting in handcuffs and a jail uniform said she was taking each week one at a time as she waited for an opening at a safe housing facility. Another woman said she had a nice week despite breaking a tooth since she spent time with her children. The crowd, including a serious-looking sheriff’s deputy, applauded as the woman announced she’s been sober for more than a year.

Other people, like Corbin Mudlin, said they were struggling. 

I’m “overwhelmed” and “have so much on my plate,” the 26-year-old Rapid City resident said. Mudlin said he’s been stressed about moving his storage to a new unit. 

A woman said she keeps forgetting things, like clocking out of work or showing up to appointments, while another woman cried as she said she’s stressed about her transportation options, feels embarrassed about her mental illness and is having trouble controlling her emotions. “I feel really low,” she said. Another woman teared up as she explained her grandmother was dying. A woman who had to be awakened when it was her turn to speak said her medicine was making her tired and she’d rather be sent to prison. 

Defendants don’t typically tell judges about their feelings or how their week went. And deputies and lawyers certainly don’t applaud in court. 

But Hof-Tiernan, Mudlin and 11 others weren’t in a typical court. They’re participants in South Dakota’s first mental health court, a speciality court meant to provide treatment, avoid a prison sentence, and prevent recidivism for people who have a history of crime and serious mental illness. 

The court is similar to South Dakota’s DUI, drug and veterans courts, which are all aimed at helping people who would likely otherwise go to prison due to their criminal histories, said Lara Roetzel, a member of the mental health court team and chief deputy state’s attorney in Pennington County.

“It’s a really, really difficult program. I mean even more so than the other speciality courts this one’s unique” because everyone is dealing with mental illness and most are also struggling with addiction, Roetzel said. Mental health court, unlike other speciality courts, also accepts people convicted of recent violent crimes. 

“We’re kind of the last possible resort,” Roetzel said, stressing that the program isn’t for first-time offenders who are eligible for pre-trial diversion programs. “These are people that wouldn’t otherwise be successful and have not been otherwise successful” without this intensive program.

The mental health court began soon after the new year and is run by a team headed by coordinator/probation officer Tessia Johnston along with Connelly, Roetzel, a defense lawyer and representatives from the Rapid City Police Department, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office and Behavioral Management System (BMS), which provides treatment to the participants.

Before launching the mental health court, Connelly said, he visited one in Memphis, Tenn., to study how it worked. 

“It’s a research-based scientific model that’s proven to be successful,” Roetzel said. 

People join mental health court after pleading guilty to a crime or admitting a probation violation, Connelly said. The program involves four stages and takes at least a year to complete, according to the court manual. The team meets to discuss how to best support the participants before both groups meet together for weekly check-ins. 

Requirements of the program include undergoing random drugs tests and staying sober, taking prescribed mental health medication, attending counseling, making goals, finding safe and stable housing, meeting with Johnston and finding a job or positive social activities, the manual says. Johnston and BMS staff deliver medication to participants, drive them to appointments, and call to check on them, Roetzel said. 

Incentives for good behavior include moving up a stage — which involves receiving a medal — less frequent drug testing, attending fewer check-ins, bus passes and gift cards, the manual says. Sanctions for violating rules could mean curfews, house arrest, an increase in treatment, jail time, moving back a stage or eventually being kicked out of the program. 

Speaking before court last Tuesday, Mudlin described himself as a “poster child to mental health disability since I was young.”

When his ADD, ADHD and bipolar disorder isn’t under control, Mudlin said, he hangs out with bad people and makes impulsive decisions. He said he recently pleaded guilty to marijuana wax possession after being convicted of a burglary crime.

Being in mental health court rather than prison means “being able to be part of the community,” Mudlin said. “I think it would be better for people that want to change to stay outside of prison.”

Mudlin said the the court is less adversarial. “You’re more on a team than by yourself.”

Hof-Tiernan proudly said she was the first person to sign up for mental health court. She said she joined after failing several drug tests while on probation for meth possession. During normal probation, Hof-Tiernan said, she did drug tests and infrequently met with a probation officer. 

“That was basically it. Here they require therapy, they require you to take your medications, they require you go to classes, and groups and stuff like that to help improve and help you as a person,” she said. “I’m spending more time trying to behave than trying to get away with doing bad stuff.”

Hof-Tiernan said she used to use drugs to self-medicate her bipolar disorder and schizophrenia but is now using prescribed medication and attending therapy that teaches her how to communicate with others and handle difficult situations. “I don’t plan on doing (drugs) anymore. I just don’t feel like I need it anymore.”

Connelly stressed that the mental health court is not meant to be a solution to a lack of treatment options in the state. “We’re that part of the puzzle” for people who have a mental illness and history of crime, he said. 

The court may serve as a model for future ones. Gov. Kristi Noem and David Gilbertson, chief justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court, have both asked the Legislature to fund a second mental health court in Sioux Falls. Gilbertson said that from February through June 2018, 13.5 percent of prisoners screened at Minnehaha County jail intake had a mental illness.

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28 Jun

DAVIE, FL / ACCESSWIRE / June 28, 2019 / Protect My College Student, offers support and helpful tips for young adults with mental conditions. It’s not uncommon for teens to have mental disorders during high school and sometimes even earlier, depending on the struggles or trauma they’ve faced in their lives. There seem to be a few common hypotheticals on this issue. The first concern is that kids these days are faced with much more scrutiny through social media and the feel the pressures of “fitting in” much more than kids years ago. This is commonly exacerbated if the child has suffered disturbing or traumatic events.

The second issue is thought to be increasing anxiety about school violence, shootings, and also the pressures of the unknown ecological and fiscal uncertainties of the world. The third stressor involves the “overachieving” emphasis that is rampant among this generation. Kids are now expected to take AP classes, get the highest GPA possible, score excessively high on the SAT and ACTs, have a side-hustle, and perhaps own their own business before college. All of this is, of course, to be met with ease and accomplished while still participating in extracurricular activities, events, and other social affairs.

Reported Mental Disorders in Children/Teens

  • 7.4% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 4.5 million) have a diagnosed behavior problem.1
  • 7.1% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 4.4 million) have diagnosed anxiety.1
  • 3.2% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 1.9 million) have diagnosed depression. 1

Protecting Your Kids Mental Health Through The College Years

When kids go to college, these conditions cannot be ignored. There is a real need for ongoing treatment, staying on their medication, and getting behavioral therapy. As a parent, how can you make sure that your college student is going to get the treatment they need or receive urgent or additional treatment if necessary?

Protect My College Student offers around the clock care and protection for students who are living away from home for the first time. Utilizing MD Live’s telemedicine services, students can contact doctors and healthcare professionals 24/7 via their phone, laptop, or iPad. Protect My College Student’s goal is to provide parents peace of mind as their children go off to college and are living away from home for the first time. This can be an uneasy time for parents, but knowing that their children have unlimited access to medical services and counseling reassures them that their son or daughter is in good hands.


Protect My College Student
13762 W State Rd. 84, Suite 53 Davie, FL 33325

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20 Jun

This 5-minute meditation will help you find your center and come back into your body consciously.

This 5-minute meditation from Susanna Barkataki will help you find your center and come back into your body consciously. 

See also How to Create More Unity in Your Yoga Classes

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19 Jun

She is estimated to be worth around £370m – so it comes as little surprise that the Queen’s favourite bottle of red wine is a tad pricey.

It was reported by News.com.au that guests at last month’s state banquet in honour of President Donald Trump sipped on her tipple of choice, a Chateau Rothschild-Lafite 1990.

The wine costs a cool £970 a bottle, according to Wine Searcher.

But, while the monarch has some expensive tastes, she is famously frugal.

READ MORE: The picture that depicts the Queen’s loneliness

In Buckingham Palace, which has 775 rooms, she has been known to switch off unnecessary lights, according to the Financial Times.

In 2011, in a drive to cut household costs, she posted signs around the palace that read: “The attention is drawn of all members of staff to the need to switch off unwanted lights. By Order of The Master of The Household.”

The Queen was revealed by a documentary in 2013 to use a £20 electric convection heater in her private sitting room at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

According to the Daily Express, palace insiders have opened up about other ways she cuts budgets where she can.

Old newspapers are used for horse bedding, string from parcels is re-used and sheets and dusters are darned.

READ MORE: The Queen’s former Malta home is available to buy for a cool £5 million

There are also water displacement devices placed in toilet cisterns to reduce the water used for each flush.

The Queen is also thrifty when it comes to her wardrobe.

She has used the same £7.99 nail varnish for decades, according to the Evening Standard, and regularly re-wears her trademark colourful coats and hats.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that the Malta home she shared with Prince Philip is now on the market for £5m.

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