The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says providers have been clamoring for an update of the 1995 and 1997 guidelines for evaluation-and-management (E/M) codes—and it may be ready to oblige them. If it goes forward, the plan would take years to implement and focus mainly on revising the history and physical exam portion of a patient encounter. The aim, according to CMS, would be to simplify and better align E/M coding and documentation, presuming that would improve workflow at the practice level—including in urgent care centers. The changes would require major analysis of systems by EMR providers, not to mention “relearning” how to code for providers and affected office staff.
E/M Coding Could Be Heading for an Overhaul