Answer:
Yes, nurse practitioners can perform the initial hospital visit after enrolling for, and receiving, their own Medicare numbers. They must apply for a National Provider Identifier (NPI) and go through the Medicare credentialing process with Palmetto GBA, so they can order diagnostic tests. They can act as the assistant at surgery using HCPCS modifier AS, but they are excluded from billing as the surgeon on any major surgical procedure. They are excluded from some other specialty services, such as anesthesia.

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