Can you tell me what mistakes we should watch out for with ABNs?


Common mistakes with Advanced Beneficiary Notices (ABNs) include the following:

  • Asking all Medicare beneficiaries to sign an ABN “just in case.”
  • Failure to get the ABN before the procedure or service is started. Remember this is an “advanced” beneficiary notice, not a “retrospective” notice.
  • Getting an ABN in the emergency room before the patient has been stabilized. Most facilities do not use an ABN in the ER at all. Most patients and their families are under too much stress during a true emergent situation to be concerned with financial liability.
  • Not getting an ABN and including the “write off charges” on the cost report

This question was answered in our Coding Essentials for RT/Pulmonary Function. For more hot topics relating to respiratory services, please visit our store or call us at 1.800.252.1578, ext. 2.


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