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Dermatology Coding Alert

Reader Question:

"No Charge" Visits Still Count Toward Established Patient Status

Question: Our dermatologist saw a patient during a quick assessment last year at no charge. The patient returned this week for a complete exam. Should this be billed as an established patient or new?Supercoder.com Subscriber

Answer: In this situation, the patient will be considered “established” because you already treated him during a face-to-face encounter within the last three years, which constitutes an established patient under the CPT® guidelines.