Pre-op visits: True or False?

December 29th, 2015 - Codapedia Editor
Categories:   Coding   Compliance   Evaluation & Management (E/M)   Modifiers   Surgical Billing & Coding  
0 Votes - Sign in to vote or comment.

Are the following statements true or false?

• The PCP cannot be paid to do a pre-op assessment of a Medicare patient prior to surgery because of the new consult rules.

• The surgeon can never be paid to do a pre-op visit if s/he is going to take the patient to surgery.

• The surgeon can bill and be paid for an office visit for the purposes of a pre-op H&P after the decision for surgery is made, but before the surgery itself, if the hospital requires it.

All of these statements are false!

Let’s take them one by one:

      The PCP cannot be paid to do a pre-op assessment of a Medicare patient prior to surgery because of the new consult rules.

This is false. The primary care provider may be paid to do a medically necessary pre-operative assessment on a Medicare patient prior to surgery, but the visit is billed with a new or established patient visit code. For that matter, a cardiologist or pulmonologist can also bill for these services. The important thing: the visits must be medically necessary for the patient. Routine or screening services are not payable.

     The surgeon can never be paid to do a pre-op visit if s/he is going to take the patient to surgery.

This is false. The global surgical payment does include payment for pre-operative services, intra-operative service and post-operative care. The Medicare Fee Schedule includes the percentages for each component for each surgical CPT® code. The pre-operative care is roughly 10%, depending on the service.

When can the surgeon be paid for a pre-op visit?

• For the evaluation of the problem, if the procedure is not done that day or the next day.

• For the evaluation of the problem, if it is a minor procedure with a zero or ten day global period, when the Evaluation and Management service is a significant, separately identifiable service, meeting the criteria for using modifier 25. For example, a gynecologist is asked to see a patient with abnormal bleeding, and decides to do an endometrial biopsy on the same day. Both services may be reported and should be paid.

• For the evaluation of a problem, if it is a major procedure with a 90 day global period, and the physician decides at that visit to take the patient to surgery that day or the next day. If the visit meets the requirements for the use of modifier 57, it is a separately reportable (and payable) service.

There are articles in Codapedia about the use modifier 25 and modifier 57.

        The surgeon can bill and be paid for an office visit for the purposes of a pre-op H&P after the decision for surgery is made, but before the surgery itself, if the hospital requires it.

This is false. Some surgeons believe they can bill for a visit after the decision for surgery was made and before the surgery for the purpose of the H&P, completing the consent forms and educating the patients about what to expect. This is not a separately payable service and should not be billed.

The CPT® Assistant in May of 2009 answered this question specifically. Here is a quote from their newsletter:  

 If the surgeon sees a patient and makes a decision for surgery and then the patient returns for a visit where the intent of the visit is the preoperative H&P, and this service occurs in the interval between the decision-making visit and the day of surgery, regardless of when the visit occurs (1 day, 3 days, or 2 weeks), the visit is not separately billable as it is included in the surgical package.

###

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)

​​Polysomnography Services Under OIG Scrutiny
September 2nd, 2021 - Raquel Shumway
The OIG conducted a study dated June 2019 wherein they indicated that there were approximately $269 million in overpayments for polysomnography services for the period of 2014 through 2015. According to the OIG “These errors occurred because the CMS oversight of polysomnography services was insufficient to ensure that providers complied with Medicare requirements and to prevent payment of claims that didn’t meet those requirements.” So what are those requirements?
Medicare Advantage - The Fastest Growing Government-Funded Program Undergoing Multiple Fraud Investigations
August 16th, 2021 - Aimee Wilcox, CPMA, CCS-P, CST, MA, MT, Director of Content
Medicare Advantage is the fastest growing form of government-funded healthcare and the rate of fraud within this segment has come under increased scrutiny. Funding is determined by the health status of each beneficiary; therefore, accurate coding based on detailed documentation makes the medical record vital to the process because some ...
Billing Dental Implants under Medical Coverage
August 12th, 2021 - Christine Woolstenhulme, QCC, QMCS, CPC, CMRS
Implants can be costly to the patient and the provider, and it is crucial to understand how to bill a patient’s medical insurance to ensure there is adequate coverage for the best treatment. Implants are commonly billed in a dental office under a patient’s medical benefits.    Implants could be considered ...
New Codes for COVID Booster Vaccine & Monoclonal Antibody Products
August 10th, 2021 - Wyn Staheli, Director of Research
New codes have been announced for the COVID-19 booster vaccine, Novavax vaccine, and monoclonal antibody treatment.
Medicare's ABN Booklet Revised
July 29th, 2021 - Wyn Staheli, Director of Research
The “Medicare Advance Written Notices of Non-coverage” booklet, published by CMS’s Medicare Learning Network, was updated. This article discusses the changes to this booklet regarding the use of the ABN.
Chronic Pain Coding Today & in the Future
July 19th, 2021 - Wyn Staheli, Director of Research
Properly documenting and coding chronic pain can be challenging. As is commonly the case with many conditions, over the years, there has been a shift in the identification of different types of pain, including chronic pain. Understanding where we are now and where we are going will help your organization prepare for the future by changing documentation patterns now.
How Does Global and Professional Direct Contracting (GPDC) Affect Risk Adjustment?
July 15th, 2021 - Aimee Wilcox, CPMA, CCS-P, CST, MA, MT, Director of Content
CMS recently announced the 53 Direct Contracting Entities (DCEs) that will be participating in the April 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021 Global and Professional Direct Contracting (GPDC) Model. Among those participating is Clover Health Partners, who runs an in-home primary care program that has the potential to help Medicare ...



Home About Contact Terms Privacy

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

Copyright © 2000-2021 innoviHealth Systems®, Inc. - CPT® copyright American Medical Association