CPT code 99406 - Tobacco Use Cessation Counseling

Tobacco Use Cessation Counseling

Medicare covers counseling for tobacco cessation for outpatients and for inpatients. Inpatients are covered only if counseling for tobacco use is not the primary reason for the patient’s hospital stay. Medicare covers 2 cessation attempts per year.

The counseling during an E/M service must be either intermediate or intensive. Intermediate counseling is 2 to 3 sessions of 3 to 10 minutes each. Intensive counseling is 4 sessions of more than 10 minutes each. Counseling involving only 1 session lasting less than 3 minutes is considered part of an E/M service and is not reimbursed separately. Each attempt may include a maximum of four intermediate or intensive counseling sessions. The total annual benefit is for 8 sessions in a 12 month period.

Services may be provided by a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, qualified psychologist or clinical social worker. CMS does not currently have specific training requirements, but may in the future. The counseling must be provided face-to-face with the patient.

These services are reported using CPT-4 code 99406 (intermediate, E/M counseling service) or code 99407 (intensive, E/M counseling service). The diagnosis code should reflect the condition the patient has that is adversely affected by tobacco use or the condition the patient is being treated for with a therapeutic agent whose metabolism or dosing is affected by tobacco use.

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