Should You Be Charging For Oral Hygiene Instruction?

Two questions often asked about the D1330 Oral Hygiene Instruction (OHI) code are:

  1. Should I bill for OHI and

  2. Should I charge for OHI


There is a big difference in those two questions. 

Let me address the should I BILL for OHI first. If you performed Oral Hygiene Instruction on your patient then yes you should bill it because we should always bill for the codes that we perform to prevent fraud and malpractice.

Should I CHARGE is up for debate. I would recommend having a meeting with your office to discuss if you will charge a fee.  If it is decided that you won't charge for OHI then you can BILL the fee as $0. There is value in the patient seeing that the service was performed even if you didn’t charge a fee. If you decide yes, then set up a protocol for doing so when you BILL for OHI.

 If you are going to charge you may have to beef up your OHI by doing the following:

make a diagnosis, inform the patient of that diagnosis, disclose (watch our video), get a biofilm index (watch our video), get a baseline of current habits, tell-show-do any habits you want to add to the regimen and then provide good documentation.

 For example if the patient is diagnosed with localized biofilm induced marginal gingivitis, you must inform the patient of your findings, use a disclosing agent to show the patient where they have are missing, demonstrate the bass brushing technique then document what you did. 

 Delivering OHI may take about 10-15 mins of time. If you are taking that time, then charge for that valuable service. We shouldn’t base our treatment on what insurance covers, but depending on the carrier, OHI could be covered 1 time per year. What is your experine with the OHI D1330 code?