An Overview of Time-Based C Selection 71 An Overview of Time-Based Code Selection An Overview of Time-Based Code Selection On and after January 1, 2021, code selection for office evaluation and management (E/M) services will be based on medical decision-making (MDM) or time for services provided in 2021. These changes only affect codes 99201–99205 and 99211–99215 in 2021. It is important that all physicians who report office E/M services understand how time will be used to select codes. First, note that code 99201 will be deleted in 2021 and code 99211 (an E/M service provided by clinical staff) does not include the time of a physician or other qualified health care professional (QHP). Therefore, code assignment based on time is limited to codes 99202–99205 and 99212–99215. As with other services, time supporting office E/M code selection will still need to be documented. However, time for codes 99202–99205 and 99212–99215 will be an option (in lieu of MDM) regardless of the amount of time spent providing counseling and/or coordinating care. All time personally spent by a physician or QHP devoted to care of the patient on the date of a face-to-face encounter is used in code selection. Both non–face-to-face and face- to-face time are included in the time of service. Telehealth encounters are included here. Time of a physician or QHP spent in supervision of clinical staff who perform an E/M service is reported with code 99211 (regardless of the amount of time). Time is only that of a physician or QHP (ie, not clinical staff) and only that which requires a physician or QHP. Do not include any time spent by clinical staff in the time used to select the level of service. Total Time of Office E/M ­ Services in 2021 For office E/M services only, the total time personally spent by a physician or QHP on the date of a face-to-face encounter will be used to select a code for services on and after January 1, 2021. Ped Office-based EM Coding booklet interior.indd 71 Ped Office-based EM Coding booklet interior.indd 71 9/14/20 12:02 PM 9/14/20 12:02 PM
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