What he might be referring to is that providers are ultimately responsible for the codes the submit for reimbursement. However, it's a leap to say that prevents "anyone" from changing his codes.
If the codes the provider selects are inappropriate, they should be changed.
Now that does not address the issue of provider education. Perhaps you would not have to change his codes if he better understood the E&M guidelines. Given your reference to a manager being "let go", step carefully. I'd consider working with the provider on cases where you disagree with the E&M he reports. Treat it like a teaching approach. He is going to "teach" you how he arrived at that code. Of course, bring along your guidelines, audit sheet and the note. If you still do not agree, or he simply cannot justify his levels, show him what you have found to be true from the guidelines. The best approach is probably to get his "take" on what those guidelines mean.
I'd document that the session was held and the topics discussed. Some providers come around and some insist that what they know is true and what you know is false. Either way, you've done your part and need to decide how to proceed after that. It's a difficult case to deal with; if you have a compliance officer, the results of your engagement with the provider will determine if you need to approach him/her.
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