AAPC - Back to school
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Can I bump this to a level 4 (establish)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Can I bump this to a level 4 (establish)

    AAPC: Back to School
    Help me out there, looking at this and seeing a possible four, if you see the same thing. Help me out and clear it up for me. And if you see just a level three but a possible level 4, but it's just missing something let me know.
    Going to be doing an internal get together with my physicians. Trying to bring all the examples of level fours to light.

    Reason for Visit:

    C/O Cough, chest, cold, X 2wks. Zero going awaY- FEVER X 1 month.


    January 00, 2777

    RE: what you name

    He is a 56- year old gentleman here for follow-up of his lab results. He had started on TriCor for hypertriglyceridemia. He had follow-up blood work done on January 11, 2008. This revealed a drop in his triglycerides from 307 to 133 and his cardiac risk ratio from 4.5 to 3.4. He did, however, have a slight bump in his AST from 28 to 38, about 10% above normal. He has since run out of the TriCor.

    In the interim he came down with an upper respiratory infection, initially a cold that moved into his chest. He is coughing productively, having some shortness of breath in the middle of the night, awakenign anxiously, and a low-grade fever. He is concerned that it might be the lisinopril causing his cough. He also has been doing home blood pressure readings which he states average about 130/80 to 85. He is a little higher in th office today at 142/100. His pulse is also 90.

    HEENT: withing normal limits. He does have some nasal congestion but no erythema or purulent drainage. TMs are normal. His pharynx reveeals a little uvular edema, but no exudates.
    Lungs: No rales or wheezes. A few rhonchi.

    I think he has a bronchitits. Will treat him with Zithromax, Mucinex and Zyxel. This may also be related to his elevated LFT, however, it is more likely the TriCor. Given its minimal elevation, we are going to continue the prescription and repeat another lipid and metabolic panel in six weeks. Hopefully his respriatory infection will clear with the above approach as well. We will see him for follow-up thereafter.

    Thank You in advance for those who post there opinion.

  2. #2


    This is almost a 4th level, but without a referral or further workup to confirm bronchitis, I wouldn't code it higher than a level 3.

  3. #3


    I think it is Level 4. Detailed History and Detailed Exam (95 guidelines - 2 systems in detail - constitutional and HEENT)
    Jagadish, CCS-P, CPC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    St. Louis, Missouri


    I agree, per 1995 guidelines it is a level 4. There is a detailed history and a detailed exam. Medical decision making could be as low at straight forward and it wouldn't change the code. You meet detailed for the first 2 components (history & examination) and that is all that you need for an established office visit level 4.

    Melissa Blow, CPC

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    JC MO


    The level must be driven off of the medical decision making. Even if there is a detailed history and exam which I do not see the medical decision making is what drives the level. If you can show me a detailed history or detailed exam the level would bump to 99214. My reasoning is noted below:

    HPI = 4 (extended)
    ROS = 3 (extended)(constitutional, respiratory and possibility psych for awakening anxious)
    PFSH = none (expanded problem focused) (we know he has a medical history, does he smoke? this would be pertinent)
    All three count in determining the history level. History is expanded problem focused.

    Constitutional = 0 blood pressure and pulse are documented, must have 3HEENT = 3 nose, tympanic membranes and pharynx are documented
    Neck = maybe one point for the word supple
    Lungs = 1 adventitious sounds are the only elements documented
    Exam contains 4 or 5 elements making it a problem focused exam

    Medical Decision Making
    Diagnosis and Treatment Options = 3
    We can assume it was a new problem to this examiner with no additional work up planned. It isn't self limited or minor because the cough may be due to medication making it a bit more complex.
    Risks = moderate
    The patient will be managed with percription medications as of this visit
    Data Review = 1
    Labs were reviewed
    Medical Decision making is moderate because we are allowed to toss out the lowest element.

    Do you agree?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Cactus Wren

    Default 99214

    If we are using the 1995 guidelines I would code as the following:

    HPI= (4)extended
    ROS= (3) detailed
    PFSH= (1) detailed (there is considerable discussion about this patients past tx for his high trigs

    Exam= (4) exp problem focused
    (1)Neck, (1)Respiratory, (1)eyes (WNL) and (1)EENT= (4)

    Decision making

    Tx options (3)
    Data reviewed (1)
    Risk = moderate
    all add up to Moderate complexity

    Put them all together they spell 99214. The physician should also have documented more clearly the elevated LFT's, elevated blood pressure and the hypertrig prolbems in his/her plan in order to support the level further.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    St. Louis, Missouri


    Correct me if I am wrong, but in 1995 guidelines for an established office visit you are only required 2 components out of the 3. If both History and Examination are detailed then it would not matter if the medical decision making was as low as straight forward because you would have already hit the 2 components with the history and examination.

    Melissa Blow, CPC

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Original Poster

    I agree partially with all of you out there. One question. Seems like you all (except) one, over looked. The fact that the Dr. made a decision on whether to continue his TriCor. Doesn't this count for a moderate decision making. Being he managed his prescriton. Give your opion.

    Thank You All
    Daniel CPC

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    York, Pa


    Quote Originally Posted by daniel View Post
    I agree partially with all of you out there. One question. Seems like you all (except) one, over looked. The fact that the Dr. made a decision on whether to continue his TriCor. Doesn't this count for a moderate decision making. Being he managed his prescriton. Give your opion.

    Thank You All
    Daniel CPC

    I feel the same as you on this note, it seems some missed the Tricor part of this note...

    Roxanne Thames, CPC

Similar Threads

  1. Pt seen to re-establish???
    By Rebecca Pate in forum E/M
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-09-2015, 09:43 AM
  2. Would you bump this up to a 99214 ??
    By Orthocoderpgu in forum E/M
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 12-10-2012, 08:58 AM
  3. Establish Pt
    By sandy06 in forum E/M
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-03-2012, 10:28 AM
  4. New vs Establish
    By perkins05 in forum E/M
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-28-2011, 08:24 AM
  5. pump bump/exostosis/Haglund's deformity
    By susanlwright in forum Orthopaedics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-11-2008, 02:28 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Enjoying Our Forums?

AAPC forums are a benefit of membership. Joining AAPC grants you unlimited access, allowing you to post questions and participate with our community of over 150,000 professionals.

Join Now Continue Reading Without Full Access

Already a Member?


Close Message

In addition to full participation on AAPC forums, as a member you will be able to:

  • Access to the largest healthcare job database in the world.
  • Join over 150,000 members of the healthcare network in the world.
  • Be a part of an industry leading organization that drives the business side of healthcare.
  • Save anywhere from 10%-50% with exclusive member discounts on courses, books, study materials, and conferences.
  • Access to discounts at hundreds of restaurants, travel destinations, retail stores, and service providers. AAPC members also have opportunities to save on heath, life, and liability insurance.
  • Become a member of a local chapter and attend regular meetings.