Before the new vision screening code, 99173, was added to Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), pediatricians had no way of coding for vision screenings done as part of preventive medicine services. Vision screening, a code promoted by the American Academy of Pediatrics and implemented in CPT 2000, has been frequently denied by payers. This code is for quantitative, bilateral vision screening only (eg, Snellen chart). The screening test used must employ graduated visual stimuli that allow a quantitative estimate of visual acuity. This code would not be used when a child has vision measured on a visit for an eye problem such as severe conjunctivitis or eye injury, but could be billed if acuity is screened on a visit for headaches (ie, chief complaint not directly related to the eye). Other identifiable services unrelated to the screening test but provided at the same time may be reported separately (eg,...

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