CO 50 Denial Code in Medical Billing (2023)

It is necessary to understand the term CO 50 denial code and how to prevent it from happening. The term CO 50 means that the payer has refused to pay the payment because they did not deem it as fit or medically necessary. It ranks as the sixth most typical refusal code for Medicare claims. This problem is encountered by many practitioners nowadays. Below we have mentioned some of the ways using which you can eliminate the chances of it happening.

  • Make sure the insurance is covered and authorized.
  • Educate patients about the necessity of the treatment you are suggesting.
  • Make sure that the reports are organized and supported by the medical staff.

“Non-covered services because this is not deemed a ‘medical necessity’ by the payer.”

Medical Necessity Denial Code CO 50

CO 50 denial code meaning?

Denial code CO 50 is a specific reason code used by insurance companies to indicate that a claim or service has been denied because it is considered not medically necessary or is considered experimental or investigational. This means that the insurance company has determined that the service in question is not covered under the patient’s policy because it is not deemed to be a “standard of care” treatment for the patient’s condition.

The issue of claim denials can greatly impact a hospital’s revenue cycle, and it is made more complex because each payer may have different criteria for determining medical necessity. Additionally, medical necessity guidelines can vary between states. Healthcare providers need to understand the specific medical necessity policies and guidelines of the payers they work with in order to minimize the risk of claim denials.

A medical necessity denial in medical billing occurs when a health insurance company or government healthcare program determines that a specific medical service or treatment is not medically necessary for the patient’s condition and therefore will not be covered by the plan. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as the service being experimental or investigational, or not meeting the criteria for coverage under the patient’s specific plan. The healthcare provider or patient may appeal the denial, but ultimately it is up to the insurance company or program to decide if the service will be covered.

Reasons for denial code CO50

  • Services billed on claim may require a specific diagnosis or modifier code based on related LCD.
  • A development letter requesting additional documentation to support service billed was not received within the provided timeline.
  • The billed item does not meet medical necessity or not medically necessary as per treatment.
  • Hospital service has exceed the stay time approved by the payer.

How to handle CO 50 denial code?

Below we have mentioned some of the ways you can use to claim or file the report.

  • Ask for a proper report on denial: even if you claim to have been denied under the CO 50 denial code, you can dig a bit deeper into the matter to know the exact reason or try to collect more information.
  • Ensure Diagnosis Codes are Supported by Medical Records: Executive need to recheck diagnosis codes with Coding team for services provided to the patient.
  • Make a record of the information: Always make sure to send complete medical records supporting for given services.
  • Take a follow-up: Do not forget to take a follow-up because if you forget to do so, you may lose the chances of hearing or lose track of your file.
  • Send letters for appeal: make sure the claim report has your patient name, id and number. To know more, visit the official website.

Handling a medical necessity denial claim in medical billing can be a complex process, but there are several steps that can be taken to address the issue.

  1. Review the denial letter: Carefully review the denial letter to understand the reason for the denial and any specific criteria that were not met.
  2. Gather additional documentation: If the denial was based on a lack of medical necessity, gather additional documentation such as medical records, lab results, and notes from the healthcare provider to support the necessity of the service.
  3. File an appeal: If additional documentation supports the medical necessity of the service, file an appeal with the insurance company or government healthcare program.
  4. Seek assistance: Reach out to the healthcare provider’s billing department for assistance in filing an appeal.
  5. Negotiate: If the appeal is denied, negotiate with the insurance company or government healthcare program to see if a compromise can be reached
  6. Review contract: Review the contract between the provider and insurance company to ensure that the service is covered under the terms of the agreement
  7. Seek External Review: If all the above steps are exhausted and the denied claim is still not covered, the patient can seek external review of the denial in certain states by the state’s external review organization.

You can use the following steps to handle the CO 50 denial code. It is getting more and more common that the company has declined or denied to pay the amount by imposing CO 50 denial code.


CO 50 denial code stands for the denial of the claim if the limit that is allocated to the patients exceeds the limit; it can be the time limit of the allocated bed, the amount that is allocated to the patient or if the drug given to the patient, is a cosmetic drug. In both scenarios, the insurance company could refuse to pay the amount under the CO 50 denial code. To avoid this from happening, you can verify it from your insurance provider, or you can follow the given steps above for handling the denial code.

There are other ways, such as following the guidelines provided by the insurance company so you can easily avoid this from happening, or you can claim the denied claim by providing vid details and proof. Follow those instructions and take them seriously if you want to get the claimed amount without hassle.


Q1. What does this remark co 50 indicate?

Ans. The term co 50 indicates the denial of the claim or file based on a non-compatible and medically unsatisfied procedure claimed by the patient. This code can deny the claim if the filed claim is not under the guidelines.

Q2. What do you mean by non-covered service?

Ans. The term “non-covered charges” in medical billing refers to the billed amount/charges that Medicare or a third-party insurance provider does not cover for specific medical treatments depending on various conditions. Claim denial is likely to occur if non-covered charges are included in the claim.

Q3. How many types of denials are there?

Ans. Denials are of two types: one is hard, and the other is soft. As their name suggests, hard denials are permanent and can lead to lost or written-off revenue. On the other hand, soft denials, on the other hand, are momentary and may be overturned if the provider updates the claim or gives further details. The company may provide the claimed amount if the claimer has updated the claim file.