The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Coding Hotline has received numerous questions about how to bill for preparticipation physical evaluations (PPEs) or sports/camp physicals, especially evaluations that are required for return to play following COVID-19 infection.

As has been the case with these services, there is no procedure code specific to the PPE. This is due in part to recommendations that all patients receive an annual comprehensive preventive medicine evaluation and management (E/M) service that encompasses the work necessary to provide clearance for participation in sports or other clearance (eg, clearance to attend camp). For example, a patient who had a comprehensive preventive E/M service in August could be cleared to participate in basketball in December without additional examination. (State regulations may require examination on a more frequent basis.)

Ideally, clearance to participate in sports or attend a camp would occur during a comprehensive preventive medicine service (99381–99385,...

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