Potential patients may ask for a meet and greet visit with the physician. These visits can be compared more like an interview, because the patient’s main goal is to learn more about the physician to be sure they will receive the quality of care they desire.
We know how valuable the physician’s time is, but how can the physician be paid for their time with these types of visits? If there is no medical reason to the visit, there is no legitimate claim to submit to insurance. Meet and greet visits would have to be paid out of pocket for the patients as there is no medical necessity.
Although preventative visits do not require a chief complaint and insurance often reimburse for them, meet and greet visits would not qualify as preventative since it would not include the age and gender appropriate history, examination, counseling, anticipatory guidance, and other required components of a preventative service visit. Reporting an Evaluation and Management service code for these types of visits is inappropriate and even fraudulent.
ICD-10-CM does include codes to describe meet and greet visits like:
Z76.81 expectant parent(s) pre-birth pediatrician visit
This code and others like it allow for precise data collection but does not guarantee medical necessity or payment.
When it comes down to it, practices do bill patients for non-medical visits frequently like filling out forms or copying medical records. Yet, charging patients for meet and greet visits may push potential patients away as there may be other offices they are interested in do not charge. If your practice does decide to charge patients for meet and greet visits, be sure you are clear on expectations of the payment like how much it is, when it is expected to be pay, and that it applies to all patients in this scenario.