Up until August 25, 2010, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare program only covered smoking cessation counseling for individuals who used tobacco and had been diagnosed with a recognized tobacco-related disease or used tobacco and exhibited symptoms consistent with a tobacco-related disease.

However, starting August 25, 2010, the CMS additionally covers tobacco cessation counseling services for patients who use tobacco, regardless of whether they have signs or symptoms of tobacco-related disease; who are competent and alert at the time that counseling is provided; and whose counseling is furnished by a qualified physician or other Medicare-recognized practitioner.

These services are reported with the following Current Procedural Terminology codes:

Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes were also developed and are used for billing for tobacco cessation counseling services for the asymptomatic patient when services are provided in the office or outpatient and hospital setting.

The CMS has published...

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