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Last Modified: 7/4/2018 Location: FL, PR, USVI Business: Part A, Part B

Guidelines selection FAQ

Q: Why do I need to select which set of E/M documentation guidelines I prefer to use on the E/M interactive worksheet?
A: The E/M interactive worksheet bases its calculations on the requirements specified in the E/M Documentation Guidelines for Evaluation and Management Services (1995 and/or 1997) and the selections made by the user.
Since the 1995 and 1997 guidelines each specify different criteria to determine the level of E/M service performed, only one set of guidelines may be used to document a specific patient visit. The primary differences between the1995 and 1997 E/M documentation guidelines pertain to the requirements to qualify for specific History and Examination levels.
For example, the 1995 and 1997 guidelines each specify different requirements to qualify for an Extended level of History of Present Illness (HPI), which is an element of the key component History:
1995 guidelines requirements for Extended level of HPI -- either four or more elements of the present illness or four or more associated comorbidities must be documented.
1997 guidelines requirements for Extended level of HPI -- either four or more elements of the present illness or the status of three or more associated chronic or inactive conditions must be documented.
Note: Effective September 10, 2013, providers are permitted to base the level of service for the History of Present Illness (HPI) element of History on a different set of E/M documentation guidelines than the guidelines used to determine the service level for the remaining elements of History and the remaining key components (i.e., Examination and Decision Making). However, the calculations performed by the E/M interactive worksheet and any E/M code suggested are based upon the selection of one set of E/M documentation guidelines for all key components and their associated elements.
In addition, the 1995 and 1997 guidelines also specify different requirements regarding possible examination types as well as criteria for each Examination level.
The E/M interactive worksheet offers providers the option to select either one set of guidelines (1995 or 1997) or both for the purpose of comparison:
Guidelines selection
Note: The options presented (e.g., 1995 and/or 1997 Examination sections) will automatically adjust based upon your selection (i.e., disappear or reappear). However, if the Both ’95 and ’97 Guidelines option is selected, all required sections of the E/M interactive worksheet -- including both the 1995 and 1997 Examination sections -- must be completed in order for the worksheet to calculate the suggested E/M code correctly.
Sources: 1995 Documentation Guidelines for Evaluation & Management Services
1997 Documentation Guidelines for Evaluation and Management Services
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