Accurate coding is an important function of neurologic practice. This section of CONTINUUM, contributed by members of the AAN Medical Economics and Management Committee, includes a table of helpful coding information related to the issue topic. The table may include diagnosis coding, Evaluation and Management (E/M) coding, procedure coding, or a combination, depending on which is most useful for the subject area of the issue.
Below are lists of diagnosis codes commonly used for encounters with patients with behavioral neurology disorders. This list is not all-inclusive, and reference to a full volume of the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) is recommended for helpful subterms, instructions, and coding of other conditions that may be causative or affecting the presenting illness. For a full set of rules regarding diagnosis coding, see the Official ICD-9-CM Guidelines for Coding and Reporting, which may be found at: www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/icd9/icdguide.pdf.
If doing a neurobehavioral examination the same day/same visit with a patient, then take the E/M code and add a -25 (eg, 99204-25). Then you can also bill 96119 for a neurobehavioral examination for more involved neurobehavioral testing that you are doing as part of your evaluation. This is a time code that can include time of face-to-face testing of the patient, data analysis, and report generation. It is best to submit a separate report detailing the testing, scores, interpretation, and the time engaged. If a physician extender (eg, testing technician) performs the neurobehavioral testing, then add a -YR to the neurobehavioral examination code (eg, 96119-YR).