Denial code N161

Remark code N161 indicates coverage for a drug/service/supply is provided only if the related service is also covered.

Accelerate your revenue cycle

Boost patient experience and your bottom line by automating patient cost estimates, payer underpayment detection, and contract optimization in one place.

Get a Demo

What is Denial Code N161

Remark code N161 indicates that reimbursement for the drug, service, or supply in question is contingent upon the associated service also being eligible for coverage. If the primary service is not covered under the patient's health plan, then the drug, service, or supply linked to it will similarly not be covered. This code is used to communicate specific coverage conditions to the healthcare provider.

Common Causes of RARC N161

Common causes of code N161 are:

1. The prescription of a medication or use of a supply that is typically an adjunct to a primary service, which has not been billed or is not covered under the patient's current insurance plan.

2. Billing for a drug or supply without the necessary linkage to a covered service in the claim, leading to a lack of justification for the necessity of the drug/service/supply.

3. Incorrect coding or lack of proper documentation indicating the relationship between the drug/service/supply and a covered service.

4. The primary service associated with the drug/service/supply may have been denied or rejected, and as a result, the drug/service/supply is also not covered.

5. The insurance plan may have specific restrictions or limitations on coverage that require certain criteria to be met before the drug/service/supply can be considered covered, and these criteria have not been met or communicated effectively in the claim.

6. The use of a drug/service/supply that is considered experimental or not medically necessary in conjunction with the primary service, according to the payer's guidelines.

Ways to Mitigate Denial Code N161

Ways to mitigate code N161 include ensuring that the drug, service, or supply being billed is part of a covered service within the patient's insurance plan. It is essential to verify the coverage details and any associated services that are required for reimbursement before submitting the claim. Additionally, proper documentation should be maintained to support the medical necessity of both the primary service and the associated drug or supply. Staff should be trained to understand the linkage between services and to check for updates in coverage policies regularly to avoid this denial code. If the service is part of a bundled procedure, make sure that the billing reflects the correct coding to indicate the association. In cases where the associated service is covered but the claim still receives an N161 denial, review the claim for accuracy and resubmit with any necessary corrections or additional documentation.

How to Address Denial Code N161

The steps to address code N161 involve verifying the associated services that were provided alongside the drug, service, or supply in question. Begin by reviewing the patient's medical records and the claim details to ensure that the associated service that is required for coverage was indeed performed and is documented correctly. If the associated service was performed but not included on the original claim, you should prepare and submit a corrected claim with the necessary information that shows the linkage between the drug/service/supply and the covered associated service.

If the associated service was not performed, consult with the healthcare provider to understand if it was an oversight in the patient's treatment plan or if there was a valid reason for not providing the service. Depending on the situation, you may need to discuss alternative billing options or consider writing off the charge if it is not billable without the associated service.

In cases where the associated service was performed and billed correctly, but the claim was still denied with code N161, you may need to appeal the decision. Gather all supporting documentation, including medical records, treatment notes, and any relevant clinical guidelines that support the medical necessity of both the drug/service/supply and the associated service. Submit the appeal to the payer with a detailed explanation and evidence that demonstrates why both services should be covered according to the patient's benefits and the payer's coverage policies.

Throughout this process, maintain clear and open communication with the patient about the status of their claim and any potential financial responsibility they may have. It's also important to keep detailed records of all steps taken to resolve the issue in case further follow-up with the payer or an additional appeal is necessary.

CARCs Associated to RARC N161

Improve your financial performance while providing a more transparent patient experience

Full Page Background