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MDM needs to be 1 of the 2 ?

  1. Default MDM needs to be 1 of the 2 ?
    Medical Coding Books
    I'm being told that MDM has to be 1 of the 2 compontents for a established visit. Has anyone else heard of or follow this rule. I cannot find anything on CMS or Trailblazers stating this - just that for established 2 out 3 compontents needed. Thanks

  2. #2
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    This is news to me. Our office audits bills for a number of payers and we haven't seen anything like this.

    Karen
    Karen Davis, CPC, COC

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by terio View Post
    I'm being told that MDM has to be 1 of the 2 compontents for a established visit. Has anyone else heard of or follow this rule. I cannot find anything on CMS or Trailblazers stating this - just that for established 2 out 3 compontents needed. Thanks
    They are not my MAC but I"ve been told the same thing by several other coders under Trailblazers, unless something has changed in the last year or so....

    Maybe someone will see this thread and respond.
    Roxanne Thames CPC, CPC-I, CEMC
    rthamescpci@gmail.com


    "Remember the greatest gift is not found in the store but in the heart of true friends"

  4. #4
    Location
    Ellenville, New York
    Posts
    1,176
    Default Trailblazer and E/M
    While Trailblazer is not our MAC, I was curious about this post and searched their site. I found something very interesting in their September 2011 bulletin. In that issue, they publish the results of audits done for office visits and inpatient hospital visits. The bulletin lists one example of an office visit that they cite as being over-coded.

    Here is why I thought it was interesting - they list the diagnoses (ear wax which could lead to an infection, along with tinnits and sensory hearing loss) as "low to moderate in severity." Because of this classification and not the "moderate to high severity" this bulletin states is required to meet moderate MDM, they downgraded the visit from 99204 to 99203. Even if one agrees with this assessment (skeptical because I am not reading the entire record), what about the other two parts of MDM, the risk and data? Since the bulletin did not publish the entire note, the reader doesn't KNOW what else was documented.

    Therefore, with this information as published, I would conclude, and keep in mind this is the first time I have read a Trailblazer bulletin as this is not our MAC, is that this MAC bases MDM solely on severity, using that as the criteria to determine "medical necessity" And since "medical necessity" is the "overarching criterion" (as we have all heard time and time again), I interpret this as the level of MDM must be used as one of the elements. Maybe using a new patient isn't the best example, but it still made me think, "What are they using?"

    If you are interested: http://www.trailblazerhealth.com/Pub...tember2011.pdf
    Last edited by MnTwins29; 02-20-2012 at 10:41 AM. Reason: Added link for bulletin

    Lance Smith, MPA, COC, CPMA, CEMC, RHIT, CCS-P, CHC, CHPC

    Director, Health Information Management
    HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley
    Kingston, NY


    2016 Secretary
    Ellenville, NY Local Chapter

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