• Appropriate Billing of Postoperative Exams


    Question: Our physician’s schedule is quite full and there are times when we are unable to see post-surgical patients during the global period. Can we bill for an exam if the first post-surgical visit is outside the global period?

    Answer: The surgeon must see patients as indicated during the global period. This presents both a coding and risk-management issue. Each surgical code has a certain number of postoperative exams built into the payment. If the operating surgeon is unavailable, perhaps someone else in the practice can see these patients. If the surgeon sees patient outside the global period for postop visits that should have been rendered during the global period, you should not bill for the exams. Technically the physician has already been paid for them.