Consultation codes find the axe: Stay up to date

Consultation services are E&M services that are provided by physicians, based on a request by another physician or appropriate source.

The last six months have seen a lot of action in the health care sector – be it healthcare reform, proposed Medicare cuts, the Red Flag Rule, and the like. But the topic that’s of utmost concern for all has been Medicare’s decision to do away with consultation codes as this may have a great impact on many practices.

Consultation codes 2010: Consultation services are E&M services that are provided by physicians, based on a request by another physician or appropriate source. 2010 will indeed be a year full of changes and one of the most important changes is this change.

And now, since it’s official, effective January 1, 2010, consult codes will no longer be recognized for Medicare Part B payment. Following the announcement to eliminate consultation codes, CMS has issued an article for providers providing guidance in this direction.

But this does not mean that you can no longer do consultative work; it just means that you will now have to bill these services differently. But it will be a tall ask figuring out which codes to use and which codes you should discard. Here are a few examples of the changes that you should be aware of:

• Consultation codes 99241-99245 (outpatient/office) and 99251-99255 have been eliminated while telehealth consultation G-codes (G0425-G0427) will not be deleted.

• Effective January 1, CPT codes for new (99201-99205) or established (99211-99215) should be used to replace consultations in the office/outpatient setting.

All these changes are surely going to baffle even the most seasoned coder. But a one-stop coding website can certainly ease your work as far as making appropriate use of these codes are concerned. So sign up for one today and stay up to date with all the consultation code changes.