Practice Management Toolbox

Prepare for major changes to E/M coding starting in 2021


 

What should you do?

Visit the AMA E/M Microsite; there you will find the AMA’s early release of the 2021 E/M coding and guideline changes, the AMA E/M learning module and future resources on the use of time and MDM that are expected to be released in March.

AMA E/M Microsite: https://www.ama-assn.org/practice-management/cpt/cpt-evaluation-and-management

2021 E/M changes: https://www.ama-assn.org/system/files/2019-06/cpt-office-prolonged-svs-code-changes.pdf

AMA E/M learning module: https://edhub.ama-assn.org/interactive/18057429

AMA MDM table: https://www.ama-assn.org/system/files/2019-06/cpt-revised-mdm-grid.pdf

Connect with your coders and/or medical billing company to create a plan for training physicians and staff to ensure a smooth transition on Jan. 1, 2021.

Contact your Electronic Health Records (EHR) vendor to confirm the system your practice uses will be ready to implement the new E/M coding and guidelines changes on Jan. 1, 2021.

Run an analysis using the new E/M office/outpatient payment rates recommended by the AMA for 2021 (https://www.ama-assn.org/about/rvs-update-committee-ruc/ruc-recommendations-minutes-voting) for each of your practice’s contracted payers to determine if your practice will benefit from the new rates. While CMS has proposed to accept the AMA recommended rates, this will not be finalized until CMS publishes the 2021 proposed rule in early July 2020.

Once CMS confirms its decision, reach out to your payers to negotiate implementing the new E/M rates starting in 2021.

With changes this big, we encourage you to prepare early. Watch for more information on the 2021 E/M changes in Washington Insider and AGA eDigest.

Dr. Kuo is the AGA’s Advisor to the AMA CPT Editorial Panel and a member of the AGA Practice Management and Economics Committee’s (PMEC) Coverage and Reimbursement Subcommittee (CRS) and assistant professor of medicine and gastroenterology, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Dr. Losurdo is the AGA’s Alternate Advisor to the AMA CPT Editorial Panel, a member of the AGA PMEC’s CRS, and Managing Partner and medical director of Illinois Gastroenterology Group, Elgin, Ill.; Dr. Mehta is the AGA’s advisor to the AMA RVS Update Committee (RUC), a member of the AGA PMEC’s CRS, and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and Dr. Garcia is the AGA’s Alternate Advisor to the AMA RUC, a member of the AGA PMEC’s CRS, and assistant professor of medicine and gastroenterology at Stanford (Calif.) University. There were no conflicts of interest.

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