Does the provider list which medications the patient is on for the RA? I know some disagree; but if on methotrexate, gold injections, Humira, or most of the RA meds, these are highly toxic to the liver and require periodic blood work to check liver function; I count that as high on the table of risk if addressed in the documentation. Six weeks is about right - most of our rheumatologists monitor at least that often until the patient is stabilized on the meds; they do blood work every three months even when it seems they're fairly stable, as they can seem to be doing quite well then all of a sudden the blood work comes back abnormal. They might not see them every three months, but do get them in right away if there are abnormal results. In addition, since RA is an autoimmune disorder, patients are more susceptible to infections, etc.
When we first got this specialty, I audited them closely for quite a while, because I thought they were billing/coding high - but after reviewing, most were level 4 based on all elements and very good documentation.
I hope this helps!
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