1997 DocumentationTION GuidelinesIDELINES for ­Evaluation and ­ManaALUATION AND mANAgement Services ||||||||||| 367 Appendix A CPT copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All rights reserved. 1997 Documentation Guidelines for ­ Evaluation and ­ Management Services I. Introduction What Is Documentation and Why Is It Important? Medical record documentation is required to record pertinent facts, findings, and observations about an individual’s health history including past and present illnesses, examinations, tests, treatments, and out- comes. The medical record chronologically documents the care of the patient and is an important element contributing to high-quality care. The medical record facilitates E E The ability of the physician and other health care professionals to evaluate and plan the patient’s immediate treatment and to monitor his/her health care over time E E Communication and continuity of care among physicians and other health care professionals involved in the patient’s care E EE Accurate and timely claims review and payment EE Appropriate utilization review and quality of care evaluations E Collection of data that may be useful for research and education An appropriately documented medical record can reduce many of the “hassles” associated with claims processing and may serve as a legal document to verify the care provided, if necessary. What Do Payers Want and Why? Because payers have a contractual obligation to enrollees, they may require reasonable documentation that services are consistent with the insurance coverage provided. They may request information to validate E EE The site of service EE The medical necessity and appropriateness of the diagnostic and/or therapeutic services provided E That services provided have been accurately reported II. General Principles of Medical Record Documentation The principles of documentation listed below are applicable to all types of medical and surgical services in all settings. For Evaluation and Management (E/M) services, the nature and amount of physician work and documentation varies by type of service, place of service, and the patient’s status. The general principles listed below may be modified to account for these variable circumstances in providing E/M services. 1. The medical record should be complete and legible. 2. The documentation of each patient encounter should include E E Reason for the encounter and relevant history, physical examination findings, and prior diagnostic test results E EE Assessment, clinical impression, or diagnosis EE Plan for care E Date and legible identity of the observer 3. If not documented, the rationale for ordering diagnostic and other ancillary services should be easily inferred. 4. Past and present diagnoses should be accessible to the treating and/or consulting physician. 5. Appropriate health risk factors should be identified. 6. The patient’s progress, response to and changes in treatment, and revision of diagnosis should be docu- mented. 7. The CPT and ICD-10-CM codes reported on the health insurance claim form or billing statement should be supported by the documentation in the medical record.
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