Per CPT, a new patient is one who has not received any professional face to face services from rendered by a physician and reported by specific CPT code(s). A new patient is one who has not received any professional services from the physician or another physician of the same specialty who belongs to the same group practice within the past three years.
This is where is gets slippery, did the audiologist bill the services incident to a physician in the group. If they did, from a payer's point of view, the patient did receive a professional service from a physician in the group, and therefore would be considered established.
If the audiologist billed under their own NPI, then I think you could consider the patient a new patient, since the audiologist is not another PHYSICIAN in the group in that specialty.
What do others think?
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