As Laura states, a consult is based on intent. I wouldn't say that "evaluate" means "consult". You'll need to find out what the requesting provider is actually looking for. Unfortunately, this isn't always easy. Is the patient being sent to the surgeon for a problem that the referring physician knows the surgeon will take care of? Then it's a transfer of care. Is it a problem that the referring physician wants the surgeon to see the patient for and relay his advice as to whether surgery is needed or not? Then it might be a consult. Remember, the physician sending the patient to the surgeon needs to be requesting the surgeons opinion and/or advice.
We have surgeons who say EVERY patient that is referred to them is a consult because they are specialists, therefore their opinion is warranted. Their opinion might be warranted but that doesn't mean it's a consult. If it is known that the patient has gallstones, for example, and the Family Practitioner sends them to a surgeon to get them removed, it isn't a consult. The request to the surgeon then might be "evaluate and treat".
Check out the link Rebecca sent starting on page 52. Good info. Good luck!
Pam Tienter, CPC, COC, CPC-P, CCS-P, CPMA, CPC-I
AHIMA Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer
AAPC National ICD-10-CM Trainer