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billing for preventive medicine as a specialist

Julie Posted Mon 10th of February, 2014 16:01:07 PM

My doctor spends the majority of his time counseling our patients on wellness and prevention. we have a nutritionist on staff that also meets and counsels patients. Should he be billing as a specialist?

SuperCoder Answered Tue 11th of February, 2014 15:05:04 PM

We will answer this very soon.

Julie Posted Wed 12th of February, 2014 17:49:39 PM

Can you steer me in the right direction as to who I should contact for this information?

SuperCoder Answered Mon 17th of February, 2014 18:36:52 PM

No. Nutritional counseling and wellness preventive coding are all part of preventive services unless the patient is being treated for obesity or diabetes and needs specialized nutritional coding. There are no special codes for the type of provider who performs the service (ie, specialist versus generalist). There are codes for medical nutritional therapy (97802-97804) that a nutritionist can use if they are allowed to bill separately, but if the nutritional counseling takes place at the time of a preventive service, it is included in that service and not coded separately.

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