4 coding changes now in effect

February 18, 2021
Given the importance of E/M services in patient care, it’s critical that all doctors of optometry are aware of these changes.
4 coding changes now in effect

Excerpted from page 42 of the January/February 2021 edition of AOA Focus.

By now, all doctors of optometry should be reporting evaluation and management (E/M) codes in accordance with coding changes that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2021. As a reminder, on Jan. 1, the following changes went into effect:

  1. CPT 99201 has been deleted.
  2. You can choose the E/M visit level based on either medical decision-making or time.
  3. The revised code descriptors require history and physical exam performance to the extent medically necessary and clinically appropriate; history and exam are no longer considered key components for level selection.
  4. Ranges for total time (face-to-face and non-face-to-face) expended by the billing clinician in caring for a patient on the date of the patient’s offi­ce visit are given for each code, replacing the typical face-to-face times previously provided. Please note time does not include staff time, which is accounted for with practice expense.

Helpful coding resources

All aspects of these changes have been covered in #AskAOA webinars. The webinars are available for review at any time on EyeLearn: Professional Development Hub under “AskAOA.”

If you have questions regarding these code changes, please contact the AOA’s Coding Experts.

View changes to the of­fice visit codes.

See the Medical Decision-Making guideline grid.

AOA Coding Today is an online, comprehensive database that contains information in real time for CPT, ICD-10 and HCPCS coding and research. AOA Coding Today is tailored specifically to optometry and assists doctors and staff in correct reimbursement and compliance with an easy-to-use code diagnosis ability based on region.

Ask the coding experts

If you have any questions regarding Medical Records and Coding, please submit them by using the Coding Experts Submission Form and one of our coding experts will be in contact with you.
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