Several Technical Corrections Reshape the Recently Released 2021 E/M GuidelinesSeveral technical corrections have been made in the recently released 2021 E/M guidelines. With feedback from clinicians to clarify these new guidelines, new summary updates have been presented to clear up any confusion. Stay updated with the clarified E/M guidelines today. Continue reading below to learn more.

By Ginger Avery, CPC, CPMA, CRC
March 17, 2021

Since the release of the January 1, 2021, updated E/M guidelines for office or other outpatient (CPT codes 99202-99215) and prolonged services (CPT codes 99354, 99355, 99356, 99417), the AMA has received an abundance of feedback from clinicians on areas of confusion. The AMA’s CPT Editorial Panel has made several technical corrections to add clarity to these exciting updates. These technical corrections were released March 9th and are effective January 1, 2021.

The summary of updates listed below reveals that most of the new information is concentrated on medical decision making (MDM) definitions:

  1. Total Encounter Time Reporting: Clarification has been made when to NOT count time. 
  2. Five new MDM definitions added:
    1. Analyzed – referred to in the data element of Table 2 of the guidelines
    2. Combination of data elements
    3. Discussion
    4. Unique Test and Unique Source
    5. Surgery: minor vs. major
  3. Revised Definitions have been created to clarify the following terms:
    1. Drug therapy requiring intensive monitoring for toxicity
    2. Independent Historian
    3. Risk
    4. Test
  4. Clarification provided for separately reported tests and interpretation. 

Make sure your organization is up-to-date with these recent revisions and has a solid understanding of the new 2021 E/M Guidelines for office visit services. These monumental changes cannot go unnoticed! Register below for a one-hour webinar presented by RT Welter and Associates on these crucial updates. If you have any submission issues with the contact form, please email Cody at to register. 

All webinar registrants will receive 5 of RT Welter’s 2021 Office Visit E/M Coding Tools!

These unpredictable updates to our ever-changing healthcare environment should serve as a reminder to visit AMA’s Errata & Technical Corrections regularly for any noted changes.