Mandatory vs. Voluntary: When is an ABN Necessary?


Medicare is paying close attention to when and how you have your patients sign an Advanced Beneficiary Notice (ABN). Specifically, whether you utilized a mandatory or voluntary ABN 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.

Your patients must sign the RIGHT version of the ABN form for you to be compliant. Figuring out whether you need a mandatory or 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 expert coder, Leonta (Lee) Williams, RHIT, CCS, CCDS, CPC, CPCO, CEMC, CHONC, CRC, AAPC Fellow.

During her 60-minute online training sessio you will be provided with step-by-step guidance on how to correctly determine the situations wherein a mandatory or voluntary ABN form should be used. Advanced Beneficiary Notice.

Here are just a few of the advanced beneficiary notice 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?
  • 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?
  • How should you apply ABN modifiers to avoid denials?
  • 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?
  • 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… Advanced Beneficiary Notice.

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. Advanced Beneficiary Notice.

Meet Your Expert

Leonta Williams

Leonta (Lee) Williams is currently the Director of Coding at a large physician organization in the southeast.  Lee has over 15 years of experience working in both the outpatient and inpatient setting.  Some of her professional roles have included coder, auditor, practice manager, educator, and trainer.

Lee has presented at national healthcare conferences, private healthcare training organizations, and has frequently contributed articles to healthcare publications.  She currently serves on a number of Boards including Georgia Health Information Management Association (GHIMA) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).  Lee has a B.S. in Health Information Management and an MBA with concentration in Healthcare Administration.


It was informative.
Laurel Brown
Virgin, Medical Biller
This session helped to give us an better understanding as to why the providers have the patients pay upfront when they have a secondary insurance that covers the services rendered.
ShaRhonda Houston
PWGA Pension and Health Fund, Participant Service Lead
The session was well organized and went at a steady pace
Delight Lemaster
Alaska Foot and Ankle Specialist, Billing Spcialist
Session was easy to follow and the slides were good.
Linda Zytynski
GCIA, Accountant