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Thread: Is this an acceptable Physical Exam

  1. #1

    Default Is this an acceptable Physical Exam

    AAPC: Back to School
    I am auditing a note (established patient) where the physician has documented for a 1/29 visit that the physical exam was performed 1/3....and then proceeds to give a nicely detailed physical exam.

    Is this acceptable or does it rate no credit? I've never come across this before. My instinct was to give no credit but since it's an established patient, there's the added issue of needing only 2 of 3 elements anyway.

    Insight (and links to references) is appreciated


  2. #2


    Bumping in hopes of a response....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Salt Lake City


    I am confused so you are saying he did not do a history or medical decision making?
    Jenifer McPolin CPC, CPMA, RCC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Carmel, New York

    Default No

    I base it strictly on what was performed and documented for the particular encounter - no exam given on 1/29, I will not count an exam for that visit - the one on 1/3 is used for the 1/3 visit not 1/29. Use the history and MDM for your e/m code.


    2016 Secretary
    Ellenville, NY Local Chapter

  5. #5


    I'm just getting back here to check the thread....it's been crazy busy at the office!

    jmcpolin - The note has an HPI and MDM. I'm only questioning whether the Physical Exam can be counted when the physician notes that it was performed several days prior. I've never seen this before and my initial search for information didn't turn up anything about acceptable timeliness for a physical exam. (Hope that makes sense!)

    MNTwins29 - My first reaction was to give no credit for the Exam. Then I thought I might be too hasty and that I should research it first. Thanks for the input!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Salt Lake City


    Ok now I understand if the exam was not performed on the dos 1/29 you can't use a prior exam.
    Jenifer McPolin CPC, CPMA, RCC

  7. #7


    Thanks! Sorry for the confusion.

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