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Thread: e/m level question

  1. #1

    Question e/m level question

    AAPC: Back to School
    Hi, I'm taking a practice exam for coding for my test next week and had one question...How do you correctly choose the code level for an E/M Service. This is the question I am stuck on:

    Patient was in the ER complaining of constipation with nausea and vomiting when taking Zovirax for his herpes zoster and Percocet for pain. His primary car physician came to the ER and admitted him to the hospital for intravenous therapy and management of this problem. His physcian documented a detailed history, comprehensive examination and a medical decision making of moderate complexity. Which E/M code is reported?

    The answer is 99221....But I dont understand how that can be when there was a Moderate complexity in MDM?? Is there a trick to figuring out which code to use?? Please help!!!

  2. #2

    Default here's a tip!

    If you read the code description, you see that you need all 3 components. If you have different levels (exam is one, MDM is another), you have to take the LOWEST level. For example, exam is detailed, MDM is high, exam is comprehensive....you have to pick 99221 because that is the only one where all 3 components are met. Understand? If I need to explain further, just post again, but I'm sure that will help.
    Good luck on your exam!

  3. #3


    That is perfect - thank you so much!!!

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