The U.S. Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence recommends the combination of medication and counseling for every patient who uses tobacco.
Medicare covers counseling to treat tobacco use for outpatient and hospitalized beneficiaries:
Who use tobacco (regardless of signs or symptoms of tobacco-related disease).
Whose counseling is furnished by a qualified physician or other Medicare-recognized practitioner.
Every drug plan is required by Medicare to cover at least one of these FDA-approved medications:
Clinicians can at least double quit rates by following the clinical practice guideline recommendation to counsel patients to quit. Medicare covers two individual cessation attempts per 12 month period per patient. Each attempt may include a maximum of four intermediate (3-10 minutes) or intensive (more than 10 minutes) sessions with the total annual benefit covering up to eight sessions in a 12 month period. Telehealth Service for smoking cessation—including outpatient, inpatient, and emergency department—is now covered. Providers eligible for reimbursement are physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, qualified psychologists and clinical social workers.
For symptomatic patients: 99406, smoking and tobacco cessation counseling, intermediate, 3-10 minutes; 99407, smoking and tobacco cessation counseling, intensive, greater than 10 minutes.
For asymptomatic patients: Effective October 1, 2016, codes G0436 and G0437 are deleted and replaced with 99406 and 99407 (NCD 210.4 Smoking and Tobacco Use Cessation Counseling).
ICD-10 Diagnostic Codes
Contractors shall allow payment for a medically necessary Evaluation and Management service on the same day as the counseling to prevent tobacco use service when it is clinically appropriate. Physicians and qualified non-physician practitioners shall use an appropriate HCPCS code, such as HCPCS 99201– 99215, to report an Evaluation and Management service with “-25 modifier” to indicate that the Evaluation and Management service is a separately identifiable service from 99406 or 99407.
Group therapy, telephone and web-based counseling are NOT covered. However, the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line is free and is available to assist all Wisconsin residents who want to quit: 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669); Available 24/7.
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