New changes are coming regarding evaluation and management guidelines. Some of these new changes include updates on medical decision making and code selection. We will be seeing these much needed updates in 2021. Read the article below to get updated on all the other changes that are coming.
In an ongoing effort to reduce clinician burden, the “counting” of qualifiers in history and exam will soon be a thing of the past. Exciting changes are on the horizon for evaluation & management guidelines, including updates to how medical decision making (MDM) is determined. Although E/M codes will no longer be selected based on how much history or exam is documented, clinicians should still expect to document when the medically necessary pieces of work was done to fully address the patients presenting problem(s).
Starting in 2021, code selection will be determined by the number/complexity of presenting problems, data reviewed and the risk of complications. Time will also be another method for appropriate E/M selection. With the new coding guidelines, clinicians will be able to count DAY OF face-to-face time AND non-face-to-face time they personally spend on a patients care. Reviewing tests, other records, ordering medications performance of medically necessary exam can all be used for time calculation.
Office visit codes will have new time ranges when the implementation takes place. Fine-tuning clinically relevant documentation, telling clear stories about patient encounters and getting better at time-based capture/reporting now will help prepare for these much needed changes we will be seeing just around the corner in 2021.