optometry and ophthalmology e & m visits

jody vann

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If an Optometrist sees a patient (new) O.D. and refers the patient to Ophthalmologist M.D. for possible cataracts - and they are both in the same group.
Does the 3 year rule apply, i.e. received any professional service from the physician or another physician in a group of same specialty with last 3 years.

OD to OD = 3 year rule applies
OD to MD = 3 year rule does not apply

Optometrist and Ophthalmologist considered same specialty
 
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They are considered to be different specialties. Even though they are in the same group with the same Tax I.D. #. I work for an EYE network we have 24 O.D.’s and 3 M.D.’s. If a patient is seeing an O.D. for the last 2 years and then is referred to an M.D. it is considered to be a new patient visit.
 

jody vann

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od to md in same group (3 years)

Thank you for your response. I wish Medicare would not list them together with a slash in all their communication! But that would make our lives a lot easier.
 
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