Coding Correctly in 2023

The following information was provided by our coding advisor, Mary Suhr.

Key points:

  1. Time codes (when used) for inpatient visits have changed (see below). In 2023, when you share a service with an APP, you may bill on patient medical decision making or time spent.  You can add the time together and whoever spends more total time on that date of service (including face to face and non-face to-face) gets to be the service provider for that charge. 
  2. Extra time code: 99418 for every 15 minutes increments above average inpatient code.
  3. Observation codes are obsolete.
  4. Specific requirements for documentation of History and Physical exam are NOT needed for coding. Good documentation is still important part of medical practice and for liability; patient still needs to be examined.
  5. ALL outpatient and inpatient E/M visits will be leveled using the same methodology.
  6. Coding is based on medical decision making or time code (whichever has higher complexity). When selecting a level of service for Medical Decision Making, there is still the concept of having three components/tables and the requirement that two of the three components are met.  Tables 1, 2, and 3 outline the requirements.
  7. CPT 99251 (Straightforward Inpatient Consult) and CPT 99241 (Straightforward Outpatient Consult) are going away because the history and exam requirements for consults no longer apply and history/exam was the only difference between level 1 and level 2 consultation codes.
  8. For consultations, you still need a requesting provider, a reason for the consult and a report back to the provider.  CMS was explicit this year that assuming care of the problem is not considered a consult.
  9. Consultations cannot be shared between two providers (e.g. physicians and APPs).  If a consultation is shared between an APP and a MD, our advisor recommends the use admission codes for those.  This is true for inpatient consultations as well as office-based consultations.

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