No-win coding


Fam Pract Manag. 2001 Mar;8(3):13-14.

To the Editor:

As I read the article “Understanding Medicare’s Mental Health Treatment Limitation” [Getting Paid, November/December, page 15], I became even more convinced that I’ll never get paid for mental health services without being devious and “gaming the system.”

The senior citizens in my practice won’t come in for psychotherapy visits. They will come in if the visit is for a medical concern – even though I may spend a lot of the visit on the patient’s mental health needs. If I then code the visit based on what actually transpired, Medicare will reduce payment. If I ask the patient for the difference, I’ll be told that Medicare will pay for treatment of the illness. To date, I’ve accepted financial losses in an effort to do the best for my patients, but it just keeps getting harder.


Send your comments to fpmedit@aafp.org. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. We cannot respond to all letters we receive. Those chosen for publication will be edited for length and style.


Copyright © 2001 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact fpmserv@aafp.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions


Jul-Aug 2020

Access the latest issue
of FPM journal

Read the Issue

FPM E-Newsletter

Sign up to receive FPM's free, weekly e-newsletter, "Quick Tips & Insights."

Sign Up Now

Increasing Pneumococcal Immunization Rates

This supplement from the American Academy of Family Physicians shares learnings from state chapter quality improvement initiatives designed to increase adult pneumococcal vaccination rates.