Billing for Refill Requests

February 1, 2008

Can you please tell me how a physician can code and bill for a refill when the patient does not want to come in for an office visit? Do we use 99211 for a nurse phone conversation with the patient and consultation with the physician about filling the medication and calling the medication in?

Question: Can you please tell me how a physician can code and bill for a refill when the patient does not want to come in for an office visit? Do we use 99211 for a nurse phone conversation with the patient and consultation with the physician about filling the medication and calling the medication in?

Answer: You can’t bill an E&M for refills by phone because there is no patient visit and none of the real components of an E&M visit. Really, the only way to get paid is to have the patient come in. I’d suggest that it may be clinically appropriate anyway. Otherwise, you’d have just written the ’script for a longer period.