Intensive Behavioral Therapy

New Screening code G0447 for Intensive Behavioral Therapy (IBT) for Obesity

Effective for claims with dates of service November 29, 2011, and later, Medicare beneficiaries with obesity, defined as Body Mass Index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30 kg/m2, who are competent and alert at the time that counseling is provided and whose counseling is furnished by a qualified primary care physician or other primary care practitioner in a primary care setting

Coverage and Limitation

One face-to-face visit every week for the first month;

One face-to-face visit every other week for months 2-6; and

One face-to-face visit every month for months 7-12, if the beneficiary meets the 3kg (6.6 lbs) weight loss requirement during the first 6 months.

At the 6-month visit, a reassessment of obesity and a determination of the amount of weight loss should be performed. To be eligible for additional face-to-face visits occurring once a month for months 7-12, beneficiaries must have achieved a reduction in weight of at least 3kg (6.6 lbs.), over the course of the first 6 months of Intensive Behavioral Therapy. This determination must be documented in the physician office records for applicable beneficiaries consistent with usual practice.

For beneficiaries who do not achieve a weight loss of at least 3kg (6.6 lbs.) during the first 6 months of intensive therapy, a reassessment of their readiness to change and BMI is appropriate after an additional 6-month period.

IBT for obesity consists of the following:

1. Screening for obesity in adults using measurement of BMI calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters (expressed kg/m2);

2. Dietary (nutritional) assessment; and,

3. Intensive behavioral counseling and behavioral therapy to promote sustained weight loss through high intensity interventions on diet and exercise.

Effective July 2, 2012, for claims processed with dates of service on or after November 29, 2011, Medicare will pay for G0447 no more than 22 times in a 12-month period.

ICD information

Medicare will recognize HCPCS code G0447, Face-to-Face Intensive Behavioral Therapy Counseling for Obesity, 15 minutes. G0447 must be billed along with 1 of the following ICD-9 codes for BMI 30.0 and over.

ICD-9 codes V85.30 – V85.39, V85.41 – V85.45

Specialty Types

Effective for services on or after November 29, 2011, Medicare will pay claims for G0447, only when services are submitted by the following provider specialty types found on the provider’s Medicare enrollment record:

01 – General Practice

08 – Family Practice

11 – Internal Medicine

16 – Obstetrics/Gynecology

37 – Pediatric Medicine

38 – Geriatric Medicine

50 – Nurse Practitioner

89 – Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist

97 – Physician Assistant

Place of Service

Effective for services on or after November 29, 2011, Medicare will pay for obesity counseling claims containing HCPCS G0447 only when services are provided with the following POS codes:

11 – Physician’s Office

22 – Outpatient Hospital

49 – Independent Clinic

71 – State or local public health clinic.

Deductible and Coinsurance

Medicare coinsurance and Part B deductible are waived for this service.


Also see Complete list of Screening codes effective for the year 2012

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