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Counseling to Prevent Tobacco Use

Coding Corner

The information provided here applies to Medicare coding. Be sure to check with your Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for additional information and clarification on these and other items. You should also contact your local insurance carriers to determine if private insurers follow Medicare's lead on all coding matters.

Counseling to Prevent Tobacco Use
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the release of a Medicare Learning Network article to inform providers that CMS will cover counseling services to prevent tobacco use for outpatient and hospitalized beneficiaries. Effective for claims with dates of service on and after August 25, 2010, CMS will cover tobacco cessation counseling for outpatient and hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries who use tobacco and who are competent and alert at the time the counseling is provided if the counseling is furnished by a qualified physician or other Medicare recognized practitioner. Additional information is available at www.cms.gov/MLNMattersArticles/downloads/MM7133.pdf.