Look at your CPT guidelines - can't get any more authoritative than that.
A consultation is a request from a physician (or other qualified provider) to another physician for advice or opinion on the treatment/management of a patient problem/issue.
Bear in mind that it is possible for a consultation to be requested, and for that consultation to be coded based on the time spent in counseling/coordination of care. This happens regularly in our Pediatric Surgery practice, when a pregnant woman's fetus is diagnosed in utero with a condition that will may require surgical intervention after the child is born. The OB/GYN will request a consultation from the Pediatric Surgeon on treatment options for the baby's condition. Mom comes in with copies of ultrasounds, etc and the Pediatric Surgeon spends 100% of the visit in counseling/coordination of care. It's still a consultation.
Hope that helps.
F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC
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