New Patients and NPs

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September 1, 2016

Question:
Our office-based NP usually sees established patients with established problems, and the supervising physician is onsite. What should we do if the NP sees a new patient or a returning patient has a new problem?

Answer:
The practice has two options. First, the NP could simply bill that visit using the direct method (under the NP’s name). Alternately, a physician could see the new patient to set the plan of care, with the visit reported by the physician. Remember, for a new patient or new problem seen in the office setting, the physician cannot use the documentation elements already captured by the NP; code assignment would be based only on the work the physician performs and documents.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 09/01/16.

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