skip to content
Thank you for visiting First Coast Service Options' Medicare provider website. This website is intended exclusively for Medicare providers and health care industry professionals to find the latest Medicare news and information affecting the provider community.
To enable us to present you with customized content that focuses on your area of interest, please select your preferences below:
Select which best describes you:
Select your location:
Select your line of business:
This website provides information and news about the Medicare program for health care professionals only. All communication and issues regarding your Medicare benefits are handled directly by Medicare and not through this website. For the most comprehensive experience, we encourage you to visit Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE. In the event your provider fails to submit your Medicare claim, please view these resources for claim assistance.
Join eNews       En Español
Text Size:
YouTube LinkedIn Email Print
Send a link to this page
[Multiple email adresses must be separated by a semicolon.]
Last Modified: 11/23/2022 Location: FL, PR, USVI Business: Part B

Claim rejected as unprocessable (RUC) reason code CO 181 FAQ

Q: We received a RUC for claim adjustment reason code (CARC) CO 181. What steps can we take to avoid this RUC code?
Procedure code was invalid on the date of service.
A: You received this RUC because the CPT or HCPCS code billed on your claim was invalid or not active for Medicare on the date(s) of service (DOS). While a CPT or HCPCS code may currently be valid, it may not be valid for the DOS on your claim.
CPT codes are revised annually by the American Medical Association, with changes effective January 1. Make sure you are using a valid CPT book for the DOS on your claim.
HCPCS codes are updated quarterly (beginning in January) by CMS. Review quarterly updates at CMS HCPCS Release & Code Sets external link.
Verify the procedure code you’re billing for is valid/active and payable by Medicare for the DOS on your claim. Review code status via the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule lookup.
To ensure claims are submitted with valid procedure codes, consider PC-ACE software, offered by First Coast and updated with the most current CPT codes. For more information, refer to PC-ACE software.
Submit separate claims for services in different years of service. A procedure code may be valid one year and not valid the following year.
To avoid delay in payment, submit a corrected claim with a valid CPT or HCPCS code. Claims rejected as unprocessable cannot be appealed, as an initial determination was not made. Refer to "What you should do with claims returned as unprocessable" for additional information.
Source: First Coast Education Action Team
First Coast Service Options (First Coast) strives to ensure that the information available on our provider website is accurate, detailed, and current. Therefore, this is a dynamic site and its content changes daily. It is best to access the site to ensure you have the most current information rather than printing articles or forms that may become obsolete without notice.