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The analysis of any legal or medical billing is dependent on numerous specific facts — including the factual situations present related to the patients, the practice, the professionals and the medical services and advice. Additionally, laws and regulations and insurance and payer policies are subject to change. The information that has been accurate previously can be particularly dependent on changes in time or circumstances. The information contained in this web site is intended as general information only. It is not intended to serve as medical, health, legal or financial advice or as a substitute for professional advice of a medical coding professional, healthcare consultant, physician or medical professional, legal counsel, accountant or financial advisor. If you have a question about a specific matter, you should contact a professional advisor directly. CPT copyright American Medical Association. All rights reserved. CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.

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Voluntary ABN Uses

Items and Services Not Covered Under Medicare

ABNs are not required for care that is either statutorily excluded from coverage under Medicare (i.e. care that is never covered) or most care that fails to meet a technical benefit requirement (i.e. lacks required certification). However, the ABN can be issued voluntarily in place of the Notice of Exclusion from Medicare Benefits (NEMB) for care that is never covered such as:

    • Care that fails to meet the definition of a Medicare benefit as defined in §1861 of the Social Security Act;
    • Care that is explicitly excluded from coverage under §1862 of the Social Security Act. Examples include:
    • Services for which there is no legal obligation to pay;
    • Services paid for by a government entity other than Medicare (this exclusion does not include services paid for by Medicaid on behalf of dual-eligibles);
    • Services required as a result of war;
    • Personal comfort items;
    • Routine eye care;
    • Dental care; and
    • Routine foot care.

The voluntary ABN serves as a courtesy to the beneficiary in forewarning him/her of impending financial obligation. When an ABN is used as a voluntary notice, the beneficiary should not be asked to choose an option box or sign the notice. The provider or supplier is not required to adhere to the issuance guidelines for the mandatory notice (as set forth below) when using the ABN for voluntary notification.

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