If your physician is being asked by the surgeon for a surgical clearance recommendation/opinion/advice based on existing co-morbidities that your doc is treating, you can still bill a consultation code to the commercial carriers (most are still accepting the 99241-99255 codes through 2010, but you may want to call them to clarify). CPT still requires a request, opinion and report. You will need to use an E&M code for Medicare. I never bill a preventive visit for these kinds of services.
The diagnosis order is as follows: V72.8x (pre-op exam). This is the reason for the visit, and should be the primary diagnosis code. Secondarily, code the condition that has resulted in surgical intervention, i.e. Arthritis. Lastly, code any co-morbidities addressed by your physician that will impact the surgery, i.e. DM or HTN. If the patient has no existing co-morbidities, sometimes payers will deny based on medical necessity. (for example, does a 19-year-old athlete with no other medical conditions need a pre-op consult??) Maybe not.
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