Laura Summy, CPC, CRC Feb 14, 2023 9:49:29 AM 2 min read

How and When to Bill for Physician Telephone Calls

Wondering if or when you should bill patients for a physician phone call? If you call a patient to advise of lab or other diagnostic test results only, or to confirm a request for a prescription renewal, that does not fall under this service category and should not be billed to insurance or the patient. However, if a patient calls with a question about a problem or about caring for a condition and you, as a provider, speak with them regarding medical advice, that would be billable.

These services may be covered by insurance but still subject to either a copay or a deductible, so depending on their insurance coverage, the patient may or may not receive a bill.

There are three different service levels for telephone calls, and the only difference is the length of the call. Each service description stipulates an evaluation and management service via a phone call by a physician or other qualified healthcare professional for medical discussion that did not originate from a related encounter within the previous 7 days, nor lead to an encounter or procedure within the next 24 hours or soonest available appointment. The codes reference 5-10 minutes (99441), 11-20 minutes (99442), or 21-30 minutes (99443).

Still have questions regarding billing for telephone calls? We’re happy to help. Contact us to set up a conversation.