A laboratory may not bill a Medicare beneficiary for a test unless it notifies the patient in writing before the testing is done that Medicare is not going to pay for the test. This notice is called an ABN.
- The ABN must contain the specific name of the test and give a specific reason the laboratory thinks payment for the test will be denied.
- The beneficiary should sign the ABN and a copy should be sent to the laboratory and one given to the beneficiary.
The billing department must have evidence that the ABN has been signed before it bills a patient. A laboratory may bill Medicare even though it knows it will not be paid when it has evidence an ABN has been signed.