The PPACA does require coverage without out-of-pocket cost to the patient for childhood obesity screening and counseling as recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force grade A or B recommendation. Unfortunately, the requirement to cover obesity screening and counseling does not address payer payment policies that may cover but bundle the services as not separately payable when provided on the same date as a preventive medicine service.

Plans may cover counseling and intervention for obesity as a fully paid preventive service when provided on a date when no comprehensive preventive medicine service (99381–99397) is provided (eg, when the patient returns for follow-up visits to evaluate progress and continue management). Coverage limitations may apply, so verification of benefits prior to service is recommended. As an alternative to code G0447 (face-to-face behavioral counseling for obesity, 15 minutes), the individual counseling and behavioral intervention for obesity may be reported with...

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