The Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) have issued a complex review targeting intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). IMRT has been used in radiation oncology to treat many different types of cancer by modulating high intensity X-ray beams directed at a tumor and thus minimizing the amount of radiation to healthy tissue. In the aggregate, IMRT uses significantly lower doses of radiation than traditional treatment.
Beginning July 18, 2013, the RACs will be looking more carefully at the medical necessity of IMRT treatment as well as whether the diagnoses listed on claims for reimbursement are also listed in the local coverage determination (LCD). Practitioners should review the coding and medical necessity sections in the LCD to determine whether the patient’s condition meets these standards. The LCD also sets forth strong documentation requirements for IMRT that should be carefully reviewed, including, among other items, the need for performing IMRT, prescription of a treatment plan, target verification methodology and documentation, an approved IMRT inverse plan (PTV), immobilization and positioning documentation, fluence distribution in the phantom, monitor units, and respiratory motion.
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