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 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: 9/9/2022 Location: FL, PR, USVI Business: Part A

Avoiding RTP reason code 34931

Q: What steps can we take to avoid return to provider (RTP) reason code 34931?
Click here for the description of this Medicare Part A reason code. Enter the reason code into the box and click the submit button.
A: One or more present on admission (POA) indicator(s) is/are missing, invalid or incorrectly submitted with the reported diagnosis code(s). It is recommended that you review each diagnosis code and POA indicator to ensure it is correct, prior to submitting your claim.
POA is defined as being present at the time the order for inpatient admission occurs. Conditions that develop during an outpatient encounter, including emergency department and/or observation services, or outpatient surgery, are considered POA.
Claims for inpatient admission to acute care inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) hospitals must include the appropriate POA indicator for the principal and all secondary diagnoses, unless the code is exempt.
It is important to review the POA exempt list to ensure you are submitting your claims correctly. Refer to downloads on the CMS website, at Hospital Acquired Conditions (Present on Admission) - Coding external link.
The following hospitals are exempt from this provision:
Critical access hospitals
Long term care hospitals
Cancer hospitals
Children’s inpatient facilities
Religious non-medical health care institutions
Inpatient psychiatric hospitals
Inpatient rehabilitation facilities
Veteran’s administration/department of defense hospitals
Valid values for POA indicators are:

Reason for code
Diagnosis was present at time of inpatient admission.
Diagnosis was not present at time inpatient admission.
Documentation insufficient to determine if the condition was present at the time of inpatient admission.
Clinically undetermined. Provider unable to clinically determine whether the condition was present at the time of inpatient admission.
Unreported/not used. Exempt for POA reporting.
Note: Blank is used on UB-04 claim form and the equivalent 5010 electronic claim version.
CMS-1450 claim form (UB-04) field locator (FL) requirements:
Enter the principal diagnosis code in FL67, and POA indicator in the shaded portion.
Enter the secondary diagnosis code(s) in FL67A through FL67Q (if applicable), and POA indicator in the shaded portion.
For additional claim requirements you may refer to the Medicare billing: 837I and form CMS 1450 fact sheet external pdf file.
CMS 1450 form - FL67, FL67A-FL67Q
Direct data entry (DDE)
Refer to claim page 3 (MAP1713) of the claim entry screen for coding diagnoses and POA indicators.
Enter the principal diagnosis and POA indicator in the DIAG CODES 01 field.
Enter the secondary diagnosis code(s) and the appropriate POA indicator(s) is entered in the DIAG CODES 02 through 25.
Refer to the Medicare Part A direct data entry (DDE) training manual pdf file for additional guidance.
DDE - Claim page 03
Source: First Coast Provider Outreach and Education
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.