MDM- Data Points for using an interpreter

cjstack

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Do you know if you can count using an interpreter as data points towards MDM? Would this be considered “discussion to obtain old records and/or hx from someone other than patient.” ? My thought is that the actual information is still coming from the patient and counting the use of an interpreter would be discriminatory against patients that require one, however some of our coders were told differently at a coding conference. I cannot find a source on this.
Thanks.
 

ckeeney

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If the interpreter is doing their job correctly, they are only relaying what the patient is saying. Therefore, I do not think this would count for data points in the MDM. It is not additional information from another source. Also, look at the criteria for prolonged services add-on codes. Language barriers is one of the criteria where these codes may be used if time requirements are met.
 

thomas7331

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I agree. The use of an interpreter should not affect the complexity of the MDM, and any kind of up-coding of a visit based on the need for an interpreter could easily be interpreted as a violation of the ADA statutes that prohibit discrimination.
 

JEYCPC

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I agree. The use of an interpreter should not affect the complexity of the MDM, and any kind of up-coding of a visit based on the need for an interpreter could easily be interpreted as a violation of the ADA statutes that prohibit discrimination.

Here, here. :)
 
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