Medicare Eliminates Use of Consultation Codes

In the new 2010 physician fee schedule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has replaced consultation codes with an increase in work relative value units (RVUs).

Effective January 1, 2010, CMS will no longer recognize consultation codes that reflect various places of service (with the exception of telehealth consultation G-codes), such as inpatient and office/outpatient codes. According to CMS, the RVUs have been increased for new and established office visits and for initial hospital and initial nursing facility visits. The increased use of these visits has also been incorporated into practice expense and malpractice calculations.

CMS has issued MLN Matters 6740 and Transmittal 1875 for additional guidance on how to bill for Medicare Part B patient services, now that consultation codes are no longer in use.

For more information, contact HLP partner Abby Pendleton, Esq. at (248) 996-8510.