If it is the FIRST time the surgeon is seeing the patient, it is appropriate for the surgeon to bill out either a new patient visit or a consult (depending on the circumstances and documentation). If that first visit is the day of or day immediately prior to surgery you would use the -57 modifier (for major surgery) or -25 modifier (if same-day minor procedure) on the E/M code.
If the decision for surgery was made previously, and you are having the patient come into the office just to get the hospital required H&P done, then there is no medical necessity for the visit, and it is not billable (even if it's done 3 days prior to surgery).
The date of service on all your documentation should be the date the physician actually saw the patient and provided service. If you're doing your H&P's in advance you should be able to have TWO dates on the document: Date of service and Date of hospital admission.
Hope this helps.
F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CPC-E/M
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