Yes, you can perform diagnostic testing and it is still a consult. As far as deciding that the patient needs an appendectomy, I would still say this is also a consult. If the PCP has asked for a consult due to abdominal pain and you decide that the patient needs surgery during your exam of the patient, as long as you are sending a letter back to the PCP as to your findings and what you think is the correct course of treatment, I would think this is still a consult. I am curious to see what some other coders think of this situation.
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