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Medicare Part B Payments for Speech-Language Pathology

Outpatient speech therapy services are provided by speech-language pathologists and are necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of speech and language disorders that result in communication disabilities and swallowing disorders (dysphagia). When Medicare payments for a beneficiary's combined physical therapy and speech therapy exceed an annual therapy spending threshold (e.g., $2,010 in 2018), the provider must append the KX modifier to the appropriate Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System reported on the claim. The KX modifier denotes that outpatient physical therapy and speech therapy services combined have exceeded the annual spending threshold per beneficiary, and that the services being provided are reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of illness or injury or to improve the functioning of a malformed body member. We will determine whether the claims using the KX modifier adhere to Federal requirements. In addition, we will evaluate payment trends to identify Medicare payments for outpatient speech therapy services billed using the KX modifier that are potentially unallowable.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
Revised Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Medicare Part B Payments for Speech-Language Pathology Office of Audit Services W-00-19-35827; W-00-21-35827 2022