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Thread: Retail Health Clinic and MDM selection: advice needed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Retail Health Clinic and MDM selection: advice needed

    AAPC: Back to School
    I am working on a small audit of a retail health clinic. The trend I see is that the documentation supports a 99214, but the MDM is still a bit questionable to me, and the providers seem nervous about filing higher level visits. In most cases, they are prescribing at least one medication, so they are scoring at the Moderate level on the table of risk for management options, but if the nature of the presenting problem needs to drive the medical necessity of the visit, they would typically only score Low on MDM. In the example I have described below, would a 99214 be supported by this documentation? Even though the presenting problem scores Low on MDM, does the presence of 2 chronic illnesses (HTN and GERD) help support Moderate MDM in addition to the prescription management? Would they need to specifically state that the HTN and GERD are stable in order to count towards Moderate MDM? Thank you in advance for your input on this!

    35 y/o female pt came in complaining of sore throat (feels scratchy, better now), cough x 1 week (thick, yellow, cloudy), headache (left, frontal)
    Denies fever, postnasal drip, facial pain, SOB

    ROS: GI no nausea, no vomiting, no diarrhea
    Medical history: HTN and GERD
    Medications: Nexium 40, 1 daily; methyldopa 500, 2 daily

    Vitals: Temp 97.8, RR: 16, HR: 87, BP: 132/82
    Pulse Ox: 98%
    General Appearance: pleasant, NAD
    Ears: auditory canals normal bilaterally, tympanic membranes normal bilaterally
    Sinuses: non tender bilaterally
    Oral cavity: no erythema or exudates seen on pharynx
    Neck: no cervical lymphadenopathy
    Heart: RRR, normal S1 S2, no murmurs
    RESP: scattered wheezes throughout, no rales, no ronchi, resp even/unlabored
    Skin: pink, warm, dry, no rash

    Acute bronchitis NOS (466.0)
    Cough (786.2)

    Acute bronchitis NOS
    Start Biaxin tablet, 500mg, orally, 20, 1 tab(s), Q12H, 10 day(s), Refills 0;
    Start Medrol Dose Pak, Tapering Dose, orally, 1 PAK, as directed, Refills 0;
    Start albuterol aerosol, CFC free 90 mcg/inh, inhaled, 1 MDI, 2 puffs, QID PRN, Refills 0;
    Discussed correct use and possible side effects of medications. Instructed on use of OTC Tylenol/ibuprofen PRN fever/body aches. Increase fluids and rest. If increased fever, pain/discomfort, difficulty breathing, or SOB occur seek immediate medical attention. Verbalized understanding.

    Follow-up: 3-5 days if symptoms persist, sooner with worsening

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Milwaukee WI

    Default Acute bronchitis

    In my opinion, acute bronchitis by itself would qualify for moderate risk.

    Acute bronchitis is not the same as a minor sore throat or cough that will go away on it's own. The provider even wants the patient to return in 3-5 days (or sooner if problem gets worse).

    Hope that was helpful.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC

  3. #3


    In my opinion the exam can be either expanded or detailed depending on your auditing tool and with acute bronchitis being moderate risk, I can see why you would code this visit a 99214.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Tucson, AZ


    FTessaBartels or melloyello31,
    I'm still fairly new to auditing. Can you help me understand how acute bronchitis gets me to moderate? I didn't think I was seeing any systemic symptoms in the note. What am I missing?



  5. #5


    HTN is a chronic condition alone so that's a moderate risk level and also if acute bronchitis is new problem then that's all the proof you will need to support the 99214.

  6. #6


    You actually may not be missing anything. Just reread what the doctor says about the bronchitis. Look to see what he states is the pt's symptoms. And if that's still not helping you come to the conclussion that the risk is moderate, u can also use HTN cause that's a chronic illness and I'm sure the pt has Rx for it.

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