• How to Handle Incident-to Billing with Staff Optometrist

    Question: We employ several optometrists and independent contractors at our practice. Do they qualify as non-physician providers (NPP) for incident-to billing?

    Answer: Optometrists are not considered non-physician providers like physician assistants or nurse practitioners. If they treat or follow up on a patient, they can bill under their National Provider Identifier.

    However, if your practice treats optometrists as ancillary staff, you need to follow incident-to rules. For delegated services, where you've seen the patient and determined what needs to be performed, the optometrist can see them and bill for 99211 under the ordering physician NPT.

    Note that the ordering physician needs to be present in the suite and sign off on the record in such cases.