Physicians give up Medicare revenue by rarely using these billing codes

Primary care physicians forgo considerable amounts of Medicare revenue because they infrequently use billing codes for prevention and coordination services despite having eligible patients, according to a study published June 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers examined primary care physicians potential and actual use of 34 billing codes that have been added to the Medicare physician fee schedule.

Medicare patient eligibility for each service ranged from 8.8 percent to 100 percent, according to the report. The median use of the 34 billing codes was 2.3 percent among eligible patients, even though the physicians provided code-appropriate services to more patients. 

If physicians provide and bill all prevention and coordination services to half of eligible patients, they could add $210,517 to their practice's annual revenue, according to the report.

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