Patients' Paperwork

December 8, 2010

Even though there is a CPT code for completing patient forms, many payers do not reimburse physicians for that service.

Question: Can I bill for doing paperwork for patients?

Answer: Yes, there is a code that would generally cover that. CPT code 99080 covers "special reports such as insurance forms, more than the information conveyed in the usual medical communications, or standard reporting form."

So, you can bill for it, but the better question is whether it's covered. Because many insurers do not pay for this code, you may have to go outside coverage to get paid for it.

Many providers simply post a notice in the office indicating that forms will be completed for a flat dollar amount, perhaps contingent on time or complexity of the forms. You may simply wish to inform patients that there is a cash fee for filling out forms since this is usually a noncovered service.

Bill Dacey, CPC, MBA, MHA, is principal in the Dacey Group, a consulting firm dedicated to coding, billing, documentation, and compliance concerns. Dacey is a PMCC-certified instructor and has been active in physician training for more than 20 years. He can be reached at billdacey@msn.com or physicianspractice@cmpmedica.com.

This question originally appeared in the June 2010 issue of Physicians Practice.