If your practice has code 99420 on its list of codes that it believes are always denied by payers, it may be time to revise that list. Code 99420 represents the administration and interpretation of a health risk assessment instrument. Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) instructs that services such as administration and interpretation of a health risk assessment instrument are distinct from evaluation and management (E/M) services that may be reported separately when performed.

Examples of health risk assessment instruments are the Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC), Child Behavior Checklist, Beck Depression Inventory-II, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, and Patient Health Questionnaire for Adolescents.

While some payers still deny payment for a health risk assessment performed in conjunction with a preventive service, others encourage physicians to provide and bill for the service and pay separately for the health risk assessment. Though code 99420 has no physician work value, it is assigned...

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