• Know Your Medicare Supervision Rules for Testing Services

    Medicare providers must meet a specified level of supervision when they perform certain delegated tests. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services established these three levels of supervision, indicating physician involvement:  

    1. General supervision does not require the physician to be in the suite while testing takes place. While the ancillary staff must perform the test under the overall direction and control of the physician, they train in operation and administration of the service.
    2. Direct supervision requires that a physician be in the suite and readily available if assistance is required while staff administer the test. They do not physically need to be present in the room while the test is performed.
    3. Personal supervision requires the physician be in the room during testing.

     Know the guidelines for tests you perform often.

     When the physician is not on site for tests that require direct or personal supervision, Medicare will recoup payment.

     Tests that do not designate a supervision must typically be performed by the physician. Keep in mind commercial payers only recognize direct supervision rules.

     Learn more about supervision requirements for ophthalmic testing services in Ophthalmic Coding: Learn to Code the Essentials and eLearning Course: Testing Services Documentation Requirements.