My understanding of the MDM table found on page 46 in the 1997 Documentation Guidelines, is that you need to determine the number of diagnoses or management options, the amount and/or complexity of data to be reviewed, and then look at the risk as found in the Table of Risk. Anytime you are managing medications you start at a "moderate level. Your MDM has to meet or exceed at least two of the three elements in the table. You will be either at a level 3 or level 4 for your MDM based on the documentaion.
As to your second question, that is also answered in the 1997 Documentation Guidelines. In those guidelines was when they determined that reference to three stable chronic conditions is equivalent to 4 elements of the HPI. This way you can get an extended HPI on your establised patients just by reviewing their chronic conditions.
If you don't have a copy of the 1997 guidelines you can download it from the CMS website.
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