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Tammy Posted 6 Year(s) ago

Can we charge "36415" with a "99396"?

SuperCoder Posted 6 Year(s) ago

Hi Lori,

I am attaching you an article from Family Practice Coding Alert. Hope this will help you.

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If the patient has hypertension, for example, and comes to the family physician�s office for a blood pressure check performed by the office nurse, then at best you can bill 99211 (office or outpatient visit for the evaluation and management of an established patient that may not require the presence of a physician. Usually, the presenting problem[s] are minimal. Typically, five minutes are spent performing or supervising these services). Be sure that this is a medically necessary service and ordered by a physician.

If the patient has hyperlipidemia, she may come to the office for a blood draw to check cholesterol. You should bill only 36415 (routine venipuncture or finger/heel/ear stick for collection of specimen[s]). If the family doctor also reviews the patient's medicines and checks to see how she is doing, the appropriate level of office visit, 99212-99215 (office or other outpatient visit for the evaluation and management of an established patient, which requires at least two of these three key components: ranging from a problem-focused to a comprehensive history; a problem-focused to a comprehensive examination, and a straightforward medical decision to one of high complexity) may also be billed.

Don't bill 99211 with 36415 just because the nurse performed a blood draw,� Stoner says. �If your office performs the lab analysis, bill lab code 83718 (lipoprotein, direct measurement; high density cholesterol [HDL cholesterol]), 83719 (lipoprotein, direct measurement; VLDL cholesterol) or 83721 (lipoprotein, direct measurement, LDL cholesterol).�

A blood pressure or cholesterol check also may be a limited preventive screening service. If a nurse is providing a screening blood pressure check, you could bill 99211, but you may run into medical necessity denials from insurance companies and end up having to bill the patient or write off the charge, Stoner says.

If a physician conducts the blood pressure screening, however, and also discusses diet and exercise and takes at least a brief history, you can bill an office visit. Since no examination or decision-making took place, the key ingredient becomes time, the American Medical Association (AMA) says. �When counseling and/or coordination of care dominates (more than 50 percent) the physician/patient and or family encounter (face-to-face time in the office or other outpatient setting or floor/unit time in the hospital or nursing facility), time may be considered the key/controlling factor to qualify for a particular level of E/M services. The extent of the counseling and/or coordination of care must be documented in the medical record,� according to CPT 2000. For example, 99212-99215 typically require 10, 15, 25 and 40 minutes, respectively.

For cholesterol screening for preventive reasons, Stoner says to bill 36415 for the blood draw and the 83718, 83719 or 83721 (if your office analyzes the blood specimen). As an option, you can bill 99211 for attention by a nurse, but only if the nurse also performs another service, such as reviewing medications.

�If a blood pressure or cholesterol check are the only things done for a preventive service, I would hesitate to bill a 99396 (periodic preventive medicine reevaluation and management of an individual including comprehensive history, comprehensive examination, counseling/anticipatory guidance/risk factor reduction interventions, and the ordering of appropriate laboratory/diagnostic procedures, established patient, 40-64 years),� Stoner says.

The AMA�s opinion on how to bill a brief preventive visit (not comprehensive history or exam) is to use the office visit codes (99211-99215) rather than add modifier
-52 (reduced services) to a preventive visit, e.g., 99396.

Stoner suggests you ask carriers how they want you to bill a limited preventive visit, but keep in mind that the AMA suggests using a regular office visit code instead.

Posted by Tammy, 6 Year(s). There are 2 posts. The latest reply is from SuperCoder.

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