As we kick off the new year, it’s important to stay abreast of the CDT code updates. Of significance to hygienists is the 2019 addition of CDT Code D0412 Blood glucose level test – in-office using a glucose meter. It is related to the CDT Code D0411 HbA1c in-office point-of-service testing which was added in 2018(1).
Both diabetes-related screening tests are a reflection of the continued convergence of dental and medical, and how important a dental hygienist’s role is in the oral systemic and overall health of patients. We now know that diabetes is inextricably linked with periodontal disease and is one of the deciding factors in how fast it will progress. In 2018, the AAP announced new periodontal classifications and guidelines including grading the progression of periodontal disease(2,3). Implementing these tests in your office will help your team do just that.
As with any new code, the two most common questions are who pays for it, and how do we do it? The short answers are:
1. Who pays? Dental Insurance probably won’t cover this unless it’s covered by the group/individual contract, but medical insurance might. And we have heard some carriers may not allow D0412 on the same date as D0411.
2. How do we test? Your Dentist will develop your specific protocol, but the test can be easily and quickly performed with a blood glucose meter. According to a recent study(4), gingival crevicular blood typical with periodontal pocket probing can be used as a less invasive than a skin puncture – which provides for a more comfortable experience for your patient!
Ultimately as dental professionals we need to perform appropriate examinations prior to any treatment. The great news is we now can provide a higher level of service resulting in a higher level of care for our patients. Your question after today shouldn’t be should we test or not – it should be how soon can we get started on testing?
Give us a call today if you’d like to learn more about our customized training on this and other topics!