Parents and other caregivers often contact a pediatric practice for a visit to meet a prospective pediatrician for their children or to “establish care.” Scheduling staff must have direction on how to schedule this visit. Practices without policies and procedures to address scheduling of these visits may find themselves looking for codes to bill a visit for which there was no request for a preventive or problem-oriented service. And the potential for problems does not stop there.

Proactive planning and formal policies and procedures can help practices avoid issues with requests for get-to-know-you visits or those to establish care. Options include

The examples included in this article demonstrate how scheduling in accordance with predetermined policy can be beneficial to patients and pediatricians.

Some practices assume that a new patient office visit may be reported when a visit is scheduled to “establish care” because patient history is obtained. However, an E/M...

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