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Failure to submit Medicare MIPS quality measures will cost physicians tens of thousands of dollars. In 2018, podiatrists have to submit qualify measures all year and not for just a 3-month window, like in 2017. Also, the penalty for not submitting increases to 5% of Medicare payments. However, podiatrists should appreciate that performing MIPS measures may also allow billing for office visits and will increase awareness of when shoes and inserts, payable by Medicare, should be prescribed.

MIPS quality measures 126 and 127, diabetic foot exam including evaluation of footwear, address the association of neuropathy with diabetic foot ulceration. Properly fit shoes have been demonstrated to significantly reduce the likelihood of foot ulceration in patients with diabetes. By identifying people who qualify for shoes paid for by Medicare, podiatrists can make shoe fitting a valuable part of their practice.
Podiatrists should annually perform an ulcerative risk assessment on every patient with diabetes. A CDFE should include testing for loss of protective threshold using a 10-gram monofilament plus at least one of the following neurological exams including feeling vibration using a tuning fork, pinprick sensation, or ankle reflexes. Testing should also look for vascular, dermatological and structural findings. The foot should be sized using a standard measuring device, and the patient counseled on appropriate footwear based on risk categorization.

Patients with Medicare and diabetes who are identified to be at increased risk for ulceration should be fit with shoes and inserts. Shoe fitting will be most successful when patients are recommended models based on the consideration of what’s referred to as the 4 S’s of shoe fitting: Size, Shape, Stability & Style.

When patients with diabetes are given a comprehensive diabetic foot exam and provided a plan of care, which may include prescribing shoes, consider billing E&M code 99213. Also, submit codes G8404 for MIPS 126 and G8410 for MIPS 127.

SafeStep has available, for free, copies of a CDFE form that assists in satisfying the MIPS diabetic foot examination requirements. Medicare compliance documentation for diabetic shoe-fitting can be best assured by using SafeStep’s WorryFree DME program.

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