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The Coach Prescription

Research Dose

Starting January 2020 in the US, physicians will be able to deliver health and well-being coaching services to their patients, putting to use what are called Category III CPT codes awarded by the American Medical Association (AMA). The CPT coding system is the basis for healthcare reimbursement in the US. The AMA defines coaches as “non-physician healthcare professionals certified by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) or the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC),” organizations responsible for unified national standards and certifications for health and wellness coaches and health educators respectively. The US Department of Veteran’s Affairs led the application to the AMA so that the VA can immediately start delivering and tracking coaching services nationwide. The VA, NBHWC, and NCHEC are now collaborating on the path to reimbursement by the US government and health plans.

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