The following is a question asked on the Medical Association of Billers' forum:

"I have been receiving LCD (LCD L34325) denial from Medicare for Autonomic Nervous System Testing (ANS) claims stating that "These are non-covered services because this is not deemed a 'medical necessity' by the payer". I used limb pain, hypertension, shoulder pain for these claims and I was getting paid with ICD 9 codes but Insurance keeps denying same diagnosis with ICD 10 stating above reason. Can anyone know what the appropriate diagnosis codes (LCD L34325) based on Noridian Medicare?

We are not given sufficient information to address the question. We don't know the CPT or ICD codes nor do we know if medical necessity was established. We don't know if the medical conditions shown above are documented in the medical record (because we don't have access to the medical record). We don't know if the date of service was pre- or post- October 1, 2015. This would determine which diagnosis code set is to be used. When a claim is denied a denial code is appended to the line item and the denial code was not submitted so it is difficult for us to know the reason for the denial. The Local Coverage Determination (LCD L34325) that you reference is under Noridian and has to do with Nervous System Studies - Autonomic Function, Nerve Conduction and Electromyography. The coverage guidelines may be found at:

The LCD is very lengthy, but I did not find anything that says this service is not covered. There are thirty-one (31) CPT codes that are listed in the LCD. Were any of these CPT codes submitted on the claim? The LCD also shows 1,222 ICD-10 codes that support medical necessity. We don't know if any of these codes were submitted on the claim and linked to the appropriate CPT code.

There are limb pain diagnosis codes listed which are anatomically referenced as left, right or unspecified. Unspecified Limb Pain (M79.069), according to the LCD does NOT support medical necessity. Since incomplete information was provided, our answer will be general.
Can you appeal this denial? It could be possible that the denial was correct and if so, there is nothing to appeal or dispute. If you are establishing medical necessity and linking the proper ICD-10 to the proper CPT code then, yes you can appeal the denial.

Appealing or disputing a covered service denial isn't hard to do, but it takes investigative skills. First, look at the medical record to see what service was provided and documented. Next, look at the health plan's coverage determinations. This will show what CPT codes are supported and what diagnosis codes support medical necessity.

Last, look at the patient's health benefit manual to see if this service is listed as a covered service. If it is shown as a non-covered service, then an appeal or dispute won't work. Proving that this is a covered service is your best tool to dispute a covered service denial. Next review the claim, could the problem be a simple data entry problem? Could this be an internet coding or a medical necessity issue?

What is an internet coding problem? That is where someone goes to an association website, an internet forum or an internet listserve and asks for someone to provide them with a CPT code or diagnosis code or both. This can be very dangerous because the person providing an answer may not be a trained medical coder and their answer may not be 100% true accurate and correct.

Last, you cannot assume that because you were paid once that future claims will be paid. The claim that was paid may have slipped past the insurance payer's front end edits. It could be possible that the claims that being reviewed now are going through a different process. This would concern me. In the next few months or years you may be the subject to an audit by the insurance payer for overpayment on the first claim.

Stay tuned for more billing tips. If you have billing questions, please send them to the Medical Association of Billers. Please make sure that you include sufficient information so that a complete and accurate answer can be provided and of course, no patient, doctor names, test or homework questions. Never Give Up and Never


Source: Medical Association of Billers -