Referring and Ordering Physician - CMS-1500 Box 17

January 29th, 2018 - Christine Woolstenhulme, QCC, CMCS, CPC, CMRS
Categories:   Claims   Medicare  

Enter the name of the referring or ordering physician if the service or item was ordered or referred by a physician. All physicians who order services or refer Medicare beneficiaries must report this data. Similarly, if Medicare policy requires you to report a supervising physician, enter this information in Item 17. When a claim involves multiple referring, ordering, or supervising physicians, use a separate CMS-1500 claim form for each. Enter the physician's first name and last name only. An exact match with PECOS is required. If you cannot fit the entire name in the field, use the first initial of the first name and the entire last name. Do not use a credential (e.g., "Dr." or "M.D") in the field.

Additional instructions for form version 02/12: Enter one of the following qualifiers as appropriate to identify the role that this physician (or non-physician practitioner) is performing:

  • DN - Referring Provider
  • DK - Ordering Provider
  • DQ - Supervising Provider

Enter the qualifier to the left of the dotted vertical line on Item 17.
NOTE: Under certain circumstances, Medicare permits a non-physician practitioner to perform these roles. Refer to CMS IOM Publication 100-02, Medicare Benefits Policy Manual, Chapter 15 for non-physician practitioner rules. Enter non-physician practitioner information according to the rules above for physicians.

The term "physician" when used within the meaning of §1861(r) of the Act and used in connection with performing any function or action refers to:

  • A doctor of medicine or osteopathy legally authorized to practice medicine and surgery by the State in which he/she performs such function or action;
  • A doctor of dental surgery or dental medicine who is legally authorized to practice dentistry by the State in which he/she performs such functions and who is acting within the scope of his/her license when performing such functions;
  • A doctor of podiatric medicine for purposes of §§(k), (m), (p)(1), (s), §§1814(a), 1832(a)(2)(F)(ii), and 1835 of the Act, but only with respect to functions which he/she is legally authorized to perform as such by the State in which he/she performs them;
  • A doctor of optometry, but only with respect to the provision of items or services described in §1861(s) of the Act which he/she is legally authorized to perform as a doctor of optometry by the State in which he/she performs them; or
  • A chiropractor who is licensed as such by a State (or in a State which does not license chiropractors as such), and is legally authorized to perform the services of a chiropractor in the jurisdiction in which he/she performs such services, and who meets uniform minimum standards specified by the Secretary, but only for purposes of §§1861(s)(1) and 1861(s)(2)(A) of the Act, and only with respect to treatment by means of manual manipulation of the spine (to correct a subluxation). For the purposes of §1862(a)(4) of the Act and subject to the limitations and conditions provided above, chiropractor includes a doctor of one of the arts specified in the statute and legally authorized to practice such art in the country in which the inpatient hospital services (referred to in §1862(a)(4) of the Act) are furnished.

Referring physician - is a physician who requests an item or service for the beneficiary for which payment may be made under the Medicare program.

Ordering physician - is a physician or, when appropriate, a non-physician practitioner who orders non-physician services for the patient. See Pub. 100-02, Medicare Benefit Policy Manual, Chapter 15, for non-physician practitioner rules. Examples of services that might be ordered include diagnostic laboratory tests, clinical laboratory tests, pharmaceutical services, durable medical equipment, and services incident to that physician's or non-physician practitioner's service.

Do not extend the name beyond the confines of this box. Only enter what will fit into item 17. Do not run name into item 17a or 17b.

Note: Box 17a is not required by Medicare. Be sure to verify requirements with other payers.

NPI of the Referring/Ordering Physician - Enter the NPI of the referring, ordering, supervising physician or non-physician practitioner listed in item 17. All physicians and non-physician practitioners who order services or refer Medicare beneficiaries must report this data in 17b.


Questions, comments?

If you have questions or comments about this article please contact us.  Comments that provide additional related information may be added here by our Editors.

Latest articles:  (any category)

Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare - A Medical Coder's Perspective
December 26th, 2023 - Aimee Wilcox
We constantly hear how AI is creeping into every aspect of healthcare but what does that mean for medical coders and how can we better understand the language used in the codeset? Will AI take my place or will I learn with it and become an integral part of the process that uses AI to enhance my abilities? 
Specialization: Your Advantage as a Medical Coding Contractor
December 22nd, 2023 - Find-A-Code
Medical coding contractors offer a valuable service to healthcare providers who would rather outsource coding and billing rather than handling things in-house. Some contractors are better than others, but there is one thing they all have in common: the need to present some sort of value proposition in order to land new clients. As a contractor, your value proposition is the advantage you offer. And that advantage is specialization.
ICD-10-CM Coding of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
December 19th, 2023 - Aimee Wilcox
Chronic respiratory disease is on the top 10 chronic disease list published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Although it is a chronic condition, it may be stable for some time and then suddenly become exacerbated and even impacted by another acute respiratory illness, such as bronchitis, RSV, or COVID-19. Understanding the nuances associated with the condition and how to properly assign ICD-10-CM codes is beneficial.
Changes to COVID-19 Vaccines Strike Again
December 12th, 2023 - Aimee Wilcox
According to the FDA, CDC, and other alphabet soup entities, the old COVID-19 vaccines are no longer able to treat the variants experienced today so new vaccines have been given the emergency use authorization to take the place of the old vaccines. No sooner was the updated 2024 CPT codebook published when 50 of the codes in it were deleted, some of which were being newly added for 2024.
Updated ICD-10-CM Codes for Appendicitis
November 14th, 2023 - Aimee Wilcox
With approximately 250,000 cases of acute appendicitis diagnosed annually in the United States, coding updates were made to ensure high-specificity coding could be achieved when reporting these diagnoses. While appendicitis almost equally affects both men and women, the type of appendicitis varies, as dose the risk of infection, sepsis, and perforation.
COVID Vaccine Coding Changes as of November 1, 2023
October 26th, 2023 - Wyn Staheli
COVID vaccine changes due to the end of the PHE as of November 1, 2023 are addressed in this article.
Medicare Guidance Changes for E/M Services
October 11th, 2023 - Wyn Staheli
2023 brought quite a few changes to Evaluation and management (E/M) services. The significant revisions as noted in the CPT codebook were welcome changes to bring other E/M services more in line with the changes that took place with Office or Other Outpatient Services a few years ago. As part of CMS’ Medicare Learning Network, the “Evaluation and Management Services Guide” publication was finally updated as of August 2023 to include the changes that took place in 2023. If you take a look at the new publication (see references below),....

Home About Terms Privacy

innoviHealth® - 62 E 300 North, Spanish Fork, UT 84660 - Phone 801-770-4203 (9-5 Mountain)

Copyright © 2000-2024 innoviHealth Systems®, Inc. - CPT® copyright American Medical Association