Whether it’s failure to thrive or obesity, pediatricians may spend a good deal of time and resources addressing weight and growth concerns often including counseling for diet and/or exercise. It’s important to know which codes apply to these services and which health care professionals may report each service.

Pediatricians and other qualified health care professionals (QHPs) routinely address minor issues of weight and/or height below or above what is considered typical for age and gender. When counseling is provided as a part of the anticipatory guidance of a preventive medicine (well-child) visit, the counseling is not separately reported. Preventive medicine evaluation and management (E/M) services (99381–99385, 99391–99395) include anticipatory guidance.

When counseling about weight is provided on a date when no preventive medicine E/M service is rendered, physicians and QHPs may report preventive medicine counseling and/or risk factor reduction intervention(s). Codes 99401–99404 are reported for services that...

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