There is a new prolonged service code for office or other outpatient services set for release January 1st, 2021. Healthcare practices should prepare for increased payer audits after this new code is released. Continue reading below for more information.
To say that this is a long time coming is an understatement! Finally extended care time devoted to patients in the clinic setting can be separately reported. This new code, 99417, will account for increments of 15 minutes above and beyond the allowable time for codes 99205 (60-74 minutes) and 99215 (40-54 minutes). With the publication of the 2021 CPT code books already being distributed, they include a table with a break down of appropriate uses. But do not get your stopwatches out of the junk drawers just yet, clinician. With all the hype we are seeing around the new guidelines for Office E/M encounters, our payers are being eerily quiet and have yet to announce anything regarding reimbursement for this new code. As we have seen in the past, clinicians and practices should be prepared to see an increase in payer audits following this transition and you can bet that code 99417 will be analyzed thoroughly.