Important Notice Concerning Coverage of Lung Transplants by the Federal Black Lung Program - 09-14-2022

The Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation, or Federal Black Lung Program, requires prior approval of the pre-transplant evaluation for lung transplants and the lung transplant itself for Black Lung beneficiaries (20 C.F.R. § 725.705).

Information about an individual's general eligibility for medical benefits may be obtained by calling the District Office where the patient's claim file is located, or by calling the Black Lung toll-free number at (800) 638-7072. Eligibility for medical benefits does not automatically include approval for a pre-transplant evaluation or a lung transplant.

Before seeking approval for a pre-transplant evaluation or a lung transplant, a medical center must be approved as a lung transplant center by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), or the request will automatically be denied. The list of approved transplant centers is available at:

https://qcor.cms.gov/default.jsp?referer=http://qcor.cms.gov/main.jsp

Approved lung transplant centers must determine if the patient's medical benefits are the responsibility of a coal mine operator or insurer or the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. The patient should have this information. For a pre-transplant evaluation or transplant to be considered, it must be necessitated by the coal miner's black lung condition and directly related conditions. If the patient is covered by an insurer or coal mine operator, the company's approval must be obtained prior to a pre-transplant evaluation or transplant. Pre-transplant evaluation and transplant coverage is decided on a case-by-case basis. The Federal Black Lung Program expects coal mine operators or insurers to provide the same coverage that it does. The documentation that coal mine operators or insurers require to determine whether or not they will approve coverage may vary.

If the patient is covered by the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, the approval process must be initiated by emailing the request to https://owcpmed.dol.gov or by calling the toll-free number (800) 638-7072.

Requests for pre-transplant evaluations and lung transplants should include basic information including the patient's name and date of birth, as well as the name of the facility performing the evaluation or transplant.

Additionally, a request for a pre-transplant evaluation must include a physician's letter of justification. A physician's letter of medical justification is a well-rationalized narrative statement, prepared by a qualified physician who has been actively treating the patient for their pulmonary condition. The letter of medical justification represents the physician's independent assessment and opinion and must include a brief review of the claimant's pertinent medical history, a brief statement regarding the claimant's current medical condition, and explanation of the claimant's medical need for a lung transplant evaluation.

Requests for lung transplants must include the medical facility's lung transplant protocols and all medical records produced for the pre-transplant evaluation, including the results of all tests, consultations, and narrative reports.

After the Federal Black Lung Program evaluates the information submitted, it will notify the requestor of a determination regarding coverage. Any pre-transplant evaluation or transplant performed prior to receiving prior approval by the Federal Black Lung Program will be denied.

Any questions about pre-transplant evaluations or transplants should be directed to the Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation at efax-maos-transplant@dol.gov or by calling the toll-free number (800) 347-2502.

ANNOUNCEMENT CONCERNING IN-FACILITY PULMONARY REHABILITATION SERVICES FOR BLACK LUNG BENEFICIARIES - 06-02-2022

Effective January 1, 2022, in accordance with guidance set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), DCMWC introduced two new pulmonary rehabilitation procedure codes, 94625 and 94626, to be billed for pulmonary rehabilitation services.

Effective July 1, 2022, the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) pulmonary rehabilitation procedure code G0424, will no longer be covered.

Please note that DCMWC will not pay for at-home pulmonary rehabilitation services.

Preauthorization is not required for in-facility pulmonary rehabilitation services.

Pulmonary rehabilitation providers must be enrolled in the DCMWC provider network to treat miners and receive payment for services. To enroll as a DCMWC provider, please access: the Web Bill Processing Portal<https://owcpmed.dol.gov/portal/> for enrollment instructions.

All bills for pulmonary rehabilitation services must be submitted on the OWCP-1500 claim form. A downloadable OWCP-1500 form<https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/owcp/dfec/regs/compliance/owcp-1500.pdf> is available. Providers must use current procedure codes 94625 and 94626 when billing for pulmonary rehabilitation services. A bill for pulmonary rehabilitation services must include at least one of the following mandatory components:

1. Physician-prescribed exercise;
2. Education or training;
3. Psychosocial assessment;
4. Outcome's assessment; or
5. An individualized treatment plan.

DCMWC will pay for up to a maximum of 60 one-hour treatment sessions during any 90-day period; or a maximum of 90 one-hour sessions during any 12-month period. Lifetime maximums may also apply.

In accordance with 20 CFR 725.707(b), DCMWC may require reports of treatment from time to time, including an individualized treatment plan for each patient.

There is no change in the procedures for billing for other medical services that may be related to pulmonary rehabilitation services. For example, bills for established patient office visits and pulmonary function tests still do not require a Certificate Medical Necessity (CMN) and can be billed separately as they are now. There is also no change in the procedures for prescriptions for durable medical equipment (DME) or home nursing care, which will require a CMN.

All medical bills should be sent to:

DCMWC/Federal Black Lung Program
P.O. Box 8302
London, KY 40742-8302