CPT 2018: E/M Aligns with Quality Care Initiatives

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Code changes affect nearly every specialty.

CPT® 2018 introduces over 350 new Category I and III codes changes, as well as revised introductory guidelines, and new and revised parenthetical references.

Two areas that have been consistently misinterpreted in the past are revised for more concise coding: (1) international normalized ration (INR) monitoring and education; and (2) bone marrow aspirations and biopsies. Also for 2018, you’ll see a trend for new care management in evaluation and management (E/M) services to align with quality care initiatives. Medical advancements called for many new codes in the Pathology and Laboratory section, and in the Surgery/Cardiovascular System section.

Here’s a summary of the most significant changes.

Observation Clarified

CPT® 2018 adds the term “outpatient hospital” to the descriptor of observation codes 99217-99220 to clarify that observation is specific to outpatient status (place of service 22). Do not report observation services for a patient admitted to the hospital.

New Codes for Collaborative Care Management

Three new, time-based codes report psychiatric collaborative care management (CoCM):

99492 Initial psychiatric collaborative care management, first 70 minutes in the first calendar month of behavioral health care manager activities, in consultation with a psychiatric consultant, and directed by the treating physician or other qualified health care professional

99493 Subsequent psychiatric collaborative care management, first 60 minutes in a subsequent month of behavioral health care manager activities, in consultation with a psychiatric consultant, and directed by the treating physician or other qualified health care professional

+99494 Initial or subsequent psychiatric collaborative care management, each additional 30 minutes in a calendar month of behavioral health care manager activities, in consultation with a psychiatric consultant, and directed by the treating physician or other qualified health care professional (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)

 

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