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Low Vision Services

Low vision services are directed toward the improvement of vision-related disabilities rather than the treatment of eye disease. Low vision services use aids and education to minimize vision-related disability when no restorative process, (i.e., correction of refractive error, corneal transplantation or cataract surgery) remains available. Historically, the following groups of skills are assessed in the routine review of a patient’s functional ability to:

  • Apply cosmetics or shave
  • Use public transportation
  • Identify denominations of currency, write checks or use personal electronic devices to perform routine transactions
  • Visually interpret price tags, labels or large print books

As expected, these diverse services may be represented with ophthalmologic service codes (such as medical examination and evaluation), codes representing optometric evaluation, and occupational therapy assessment and therapeutic exercise codes. If E&M codes (and the related prolonged service codes) are used to report low vision services, the medical necessity of these codes must be fulfilled, in part, by addressing the vision-related disabilities in addition to other medical and ophthalmologic diagnoses. Please note that the E&M service definitions and requirements apply in all circumstances.

For additional information on proper billing procedures for E&M codes as well as prolonged services, please refer to the links below.

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Posted 6/8/2016

Low Vision Services
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