How to get paid

Payment methods for providing weight management visits for patients vary by the role of the person providing the care and the patient’s primary and any secondary health insurance plans. Below we will include information on getting paid and billing for these types of professionals:

  • Medical provider (physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant)
  • Nurse (RN or BSN)
  • Behavioral health provider
  • Registered dietitian (RD, RDN)

Coverage of these services vary significantly across insurance plans and, if there is any uncertainty about coverage of a service, it is recommended that you contact the patient’s health insurance plan(s) to confirm coverage of these services before billing the plan.


Medical Provider

To bill for PATHWEIGH through regular E&M codes, a billable clinician needs to evaluate and manage a patient’s weight-related comorbidities as part of the visit. The PATHWEIGH smart set in EPICTM has a list of the most common weight-related comorbidities, and the clinician can select the appropriate condition(s) to expedite billing and payment. Document one of the weight-related comorbidities as the primary diagnosis and document obesity as a secondary diagnosis.

What if the patient does not have a weight-related comorbidity to document as a primary diagnosis?

You should contact the patient’s primary health insurance plan to see if the plan covers any specific weight management services.


Nurse visits between medical provider visits:

This is a registered nurse (RN) and not a medical assistant or LPN. 

For an established patient with a care plan for weight-related comorbidities 99211 is often billable for RN services performed in-person and may be performed via audio-video telemedicine visits if covered by the patient’s plan. There needs to be a clear link between the physician/APP’s initiated and ongoing plan of care and the weight check.

CPT code 99211 may be used to bill for a weight check when the following documentation is present in the nurse's note.

  • All vital signs should be recorded
  • The clinical reason for the check is clearly documented in the note.
  • A list of the patient’s current medications with his/her compliance level.
  • The physician's evaluation of the clinical information from the encounter and his or her management decisions.
  • Clear identity of the nurse(s) and his or her credentials.    

Caution: The patient who “drops in” to get a weight check because they are in the area would not qualify for the 99211 because the physician did not order the service and there are no clinical indications to warrant the 99211.

A phone-only interaction by the RN would not support a billable service.


Behavioral health provider (BHP):

To make engagement in behavioral weight management support for your clinic sustainable, it is good to ensure that billing practices support the work. Billing for BHPs in integrated primary care settings depends on a number of factors including your state’s guidelines, credentials, and type of visit. Psychotherapy codes (90791; 90832; 90834; 90837, etc.) require a mental health diagnosis. Patients who have a comorbid mental health diagnosis that is impacting their ability to successfully manage their weight might allow this type of billing. Absent a mental health diagnosis, there may still be patient behaviors or psychosocial concerns that are impacting a medical condition. Psychological Factors Affecting a Medical Condition (PFAMC; F54) is one such diagnosis that may be pertinent in situations in which patients’ behaviors are affecting their obesity.

Some private plans permit credentialed licensed clinical behavioral health providers to bill for weight management or nutrition services provided by a non-physician (S9452, S9470, S9449, S9452). The BHP can bill the following Health Behavior CPT Codes: 96156 (health behavior assessment or re-assessment), 96158 (health behavioral intervention, individual, F2F, initial 30 minutes) and 96165 (for each additional 15 minutes), listing separately in addition to code for primary CPT code. See for more information.

Health and Behavior Codes are also available to bill for medical conditions as primary to the visit. Further information on billing for behavioral health can be found in the links:


Registered dietitian/nutritionist (RDN):

Dietitians’ services may be covered per CMS for patients with a confirmed diagnosis for type 1, 2, or gestational diabetes.  Most other visits with a registered dietitian will be self-pay.  

Here are some options for RDNs for billing:

  • RDNs can bill Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans for delivering Intensive behavioral therapy (IBT) for obesity as “incident-to” a primary care provider at the same rates of $27, on average, for G0447. However, providers using this model reported that the visit usually takes longer than 15 minutes. 
  • RDNs can bill directly for medical nutrition therapy (MNT), usually for a total of 3 hours in the first year and 2 hours in subsequent years. Medicare only pays for MNT if there is another condition, such as diabetes and chronic kidney disease. On average, Medicare pays $38 for the initial 15-minute visit (97802), $33 for each subsequent 15-minute visit, or $17 per beneficiary for 30-minute group sessions.
  • In addition, some private payers may permit "incident-to" billing for preventative medicine codes (99401-99404, 99411-99412). 
  • Some private plans may require a patient co-pay or co-insurance payment in these situations. 
  • Patients can self-pay. This usually doesn’t work, especially in areas with lower-income patients, as patients are not able to pay or do not perceive the value of having RDN counseling as something they should pay for.

To find a nutritional program in your area:

Some additional information related to billing is available at: The sections under the tab “Models” and “Hire a Professional” list some options for reimbursement for most health insurances.


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