Mandatory vs. Voluntary: Cut Through ABN Form Confusion

Length: 60 Minutes Expert: Owen Dahl, LFACHE, CHBC, LSSMBB CEU: 1.0

Medicare is paying close attention to when and how you have your patients sign an Advanced Beneficiary Notice (ABN). Specifically, whether you’ve utilized the mandatory or voluntary ABN forms correctly or not. Get it wrong, and your practice could be headed for a costly, time-consuming audit, which can lead to hefty recoupments, penalties and fines. Medicare ABN Form.

Your patients must sign the RIGHT version of the ABN form for you to be compliant. Figuring out whether you need a mandatory vs. voluntary ABN is where many practices fall short in complying with the requirements. Submitting incorrect forms can get you on Medicare’s radar, and even threaten your standing as a Medicare provider.

Although figuring out which is the right ABN form to use is tricky, you can improve your accuracy with some expert guidance from Owen J. Dahl, MBA, LFACHE, CHBC, LSSMBB. During his 60-minute online training session, you’ll receive step-by-step guidance on how to correctly determine how and when to utilize both the mandatory vs. voluntary ABN form correctly. Medicare ABN Form.

Here are just a few of the ABN questions you’ll get answered during this 60-minute online training:

  • What are your patient and provider financial responsibilities for voluntary and mandatory ABNs?
  • How can you identify what treatments are not covered by Medicare and which ABN to use?
  • What is a “notifier” and how does this May 21 update affect your usage of an ABN?
  • Which ABN form is correct for “not medically necessary” treatments you offer?
  • What is the accurate ABN form and modifier if your patient refuses to get a referral for services?
  • If your non-Medicare provider treats Medicare patients, do they require an ABN?
  • Are ABN forms required to be available in multiple languages?
  • What are non-Medicare ABNs, and when should you use them?
  • How should you apply the May 21 ABN modifier changes (GA, GK, and GL)?
  • If an ABN is not signed, can you bill a Medicare patient?
  • And so much more…

An ABN is like an insurance policy. It helps protect you against unpaid claims (while informing your patients about potential expenses they may be responsible for). The problem is, using this complex form correctly can be a significant challenge, but it doesn’t have to be…

Don’t let the confusion regarding which ABN form to use (mandatory or voluntary) put your practice at serious financial and compliance risk. Register for this expert-led online training today.

Meet Your Expert

Owen Dahl
LFACHE, CHBC, LSSMBBPrincipal of Owen Dahl Consulting

Owen is a principal of Owen Dahl Consulting, in The Woodlands, Texas. He has 53 years of experience in consulting, running a medical billing service and managing medical practices. He was also a hospital administrator. Owen speaks across the country on medical practice issues related to strategic planning, Lean and Six Sigma, culture, human resource management and the revenue cycle.

He is an adjunct professor at the University of New Orleans, the author of Think Business – Medical practice quality, efficiency and profit, contributing author of the popular book Lean Six Sigma for the Medical Practice and recently published Integration of Behavioral Health Into Medical Homes: A Rapid Implementation Guide. Owen received his Bachelor’s degree in Hospital Administration at Concordia College, Moorhead, MN and his Master’s from the University of Northern Colorado. He recently achieved his Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt through Villanova University. He served in the USAF.


The Speaker covered the subject in an easy and understandable language, gave excellent real world references and examples. The pace of information covered was easy to follow for taking notes.
Jody Tinsley
Clinical Database Administrator , Community Healthcore