As awareness of the crucial role of nutrition in managing and preventing various medical conditions continues to rise, more individuals seek the expertise of medical nutritional therapists to address their unique dietary requirements. Thereby, the growing need for Medical Nutritional Therapy (MNT) in the USA has brought to light the increasing demand for effective billing solutions for nutritional therapy services within this specialized domain.
However, the complexities involved in the billing process for MNT present significant challenges for both practitioners and patients. The intricacies arise from navigating insurance codes, reimbursement procedures, and varying coverage policies, making it a cumbersome task for medical nutritional therapists to bill for their services efficiently. This complexity not only poses financial challenges for therapists but also creates barriers for patients in accessing the nutrition support they need. This highlights the need to be aware of the advanced billing solutions for nutrition therapy services in healthcare. Let’s have a deep dive into such solutions:
Know about MNT Billing Codes
Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) services are covered in Medicare Part B, which include nutritional assessment, one-on-one counseling, and group counseling. MNT is also covered in Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans.
Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for MNT if they have specific conditions such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or have undergone a kidney transplant within the last 36 months. Furthermore, all Medicare Advantage plans must cover MNT services, and therapists seeking to offer MNT to a specific plan must obtain a direct contract with that plan.
Benefit Hours Allocation
The MNT benefit covers an initial three (3) hours of individual and group counseling services, with an additional two (2) hours allowed in each subsequent calendar year for beneficiaries with ongoing diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
CPT Billing Codes
MNT services are billed using Current Procedural Terminology codes. These include:
- 97802: Initial assessment and intervention, individual, face-to-face with the patient, every 15 minutes.
- 97803: Re-assessment and intervention, individual, face-to-face with the patient, each 15 minutes.
- 97804: Group (2 or more individuals), each 30 minutes.
- Preventive Medicine
There are different codes for preventive medicine services, such as 99381-99387, 99391-99397, and G0402. In fact, they include a thorough check-up, advice on staying healthy and ordering tests. It’s crucial to document that these services are not for treating illnesses, and in some cases, insurers may need a modifier 33.
There are also codes like 99401-99404, which are less comprehensive and don’t require a detailed history and exam. These are paid less, and Medicare may not cover them, but other insurance plans might.
Tips to Follow:
Here are some tips to follow to ensure maximum reimbursement:
- Check insurer policies to meet their rules, especially for diagnosis and MNT codes.
- Preventive medicine codes usually can’t be billed with an E/M visit on the same day.
- MNT services have specific rules, so follow NCD and LCD guidelines.
- Be aware of Medically Unlikely Edits (MUEs) for code limitations.
- If you have multiple MNT encounters, bill CPT codes for the first referral and G codes for the second referral in the same year.
Unleash the Power of Outsourced MNT Billing
Outsourcing your medical nutritional therapy billing services would not only alleviate your administrative burden but also facilitate improved access to your essential services for individuals seeking personalized nutritional guidance. By leveraging the expertise of nutritional therapy billing professionals, you can effectively address the complexities of insurance coding, ensuring accurate and compliant billing practices. Additionally, outsourcing providers can streamline your process easily by navigating the unique requirements of each provider, thus mitigating your challenge of adapting to diverse reimbursement structures.
The 24/7 Medical Billing Services team brings expertise in handling the complexities of Medicare Part B billing, ensuring that the appropriate codes, such as 97802, 97803, and 97804, are accurately applied. Furthermore, their expertise extends to the efficient utilization of CPT codes, such as 97802 for initial assessments and interventions and 97803 for reassessments and interventions. These providers can streamline your billing process, maximizing the reimbursement potential for your MNT services. Additionally, their proficiency in handling Medicare Advantage plans, which mandate coverage for MNT, ensures your navigation to the specific contractual and professional requirements.
See also: Nutrition As Therapy Billing Services