Diabetic Blood Draws

May 1, 2008

There are many patients with diabetes and hyperlipidemia in my practice of mainly elderly patients. I have to do venipuncture quarterly on the diabetics who make a trip to the office to have this done by a phlebotomist. How can I convert these visits to a 99211?

Question: There are many patients with diabetes and hyperlipidemia in my practice of mainly elderly patients. I have to do venipuncture quarterly on the diabetics who make a trip to the office to have this done by a phlebotomist. How can I convert these visits to a 99211?

Answer: You can’t bill the 99211 simply for the blood draw, although you can, of course, bill for the draw itself.

To translate the blood draw to an evaluation and management visit of any level, you need some documented history, exam, and at least a simple level of medical decision making. (These factors, obviously, should be truly needed and not done just to enable higher-level billing.)

Another possibility: These elderly patients with hyperlipidemia and diabetes are surely coming in at least quarterly anyway. Can you make the blood draw a part of their problem-focused visits?

You could track blood draws on one sheet in your chart and train staff to review the chart for this factor during intake. If the patient is due, they can perform the blood draw then and there, improving your profitability on the service and adding to the convenience for your patients.