As many readers of this blog know, I write at length about legal issues affecting the medical assisting profession in each issue of CMA Today, the official publication of the American Association of Medical Assistants. Recently, one of those articles was referenced in a question-and-answer piece in Part B News. (Note: Subscription required.)
The write-up discusses CPT code 69209 (Removal of cerumen using irrigation/lavage) and whether the procedure can be billed if a medical assistant performs it. The author notes several important considerations—for example, the differences in state law and the vagaries of some CPT language—in addition to discussing the CPT definition of “clinical staff” as it relates to medical assistants. Ultimately, the author states the following:
In aggregate, when it comes to medical assistants being eligible to perform services incident to a physician, the answer is “generally yes,” according to recent guidance from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
The language the author cited was from my article “‘Incident-to’ billing: Medical assistants’ services under the Medicare CCM program,” which can be found on the AAMA website.