1995 guidelines for COMPREHENSIVE exam are - general multi-system exam (8 or more organ systems) or complete exam of single organ system.
Given that a hand specialist would not be also examining the lower extremities, back/spine, etc, I think it would be unlikely that you'd ever meet that standard.
However ... I would still recommend that you develop that list of bullet points for a comprehensive HAND exam. This allows the auditor to use the 1995 guidelines to identify what is a limited exam vs a expanded exam of the affected body area/organ system.
So, for example: you identify 7 exam elements for the hand and the practice defines "Expanded exam is 4 or more of these bullets." You then have that guideline noted as part of your compliance plan. In this way both you and an outside auditor would know exactly how you are defining the exam for this highly specialized provider.To achieve a "detailed exam" under the 1995 guidelines you need an "extended" exam of the affected body area/organ system, and other symptomatic or related organ systems, so you would still need at least one other system examined, but that could be vital signs or general appearance of the patient for Constitutional system.
Hope that helps.
F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC
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