tci E/M Coding Alert - 2018 Issue 6

You Be the Coder: Think Threshold to Understand Typical Time

Question: As a new coder, I am still a little confused by the times listed in the descriptors for evaluation and management (E/M) services 99201-99215. Are they average times, or are they the total amount of time a provider can spend counseling a patient? For example, 99214 states "Typically, 25 minutes are spent face-to-face with the patient and/or family." Does that mean the provider has to spend exactly 25 minutes with the patient or family, or is the time just an estimate? Virginia Subscriber Answer: CPT® guidelines state that "specific times expressed in the visit code descriptors are...

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