New E/M Codes Capture Doctor Discussions

It’s unknown at this time if Medicare will pay on these new codes, but you should be able to bill some payers for your inter-professional consultation services beginning January 1, 2014.  CPT® 2014 introduces four new codes that describe the work of two medical professionals who discuss a patient’s condition via phone or Internet, as follows:

  • 99446 – Inter-professional telephone/Internet assessment and management service provided by a consultative physician including a verbal and written report to the patient’s treating/requesting physician or other qualified health care professional; 5-10 minutes of medical consultative discussion and review
  • 99447 – (as stated above) 11-20 minutes of medical consultative discussion and review
  • 099448 – (as stated above) 21-30 minutes of medical consultative discussion and review
  • 99449 – (as stated above) 31 minutes or more of medical consultative discussion and review.

 

These codes make sense as more and more health plans allow for communication between physicians and patients via the internet.  Codes 99446-99449 are in recognition of these situations.  If gives the physician the ability to forward patient information (securely) to another physician for opinion and insight without having the patient come to all the different appointments.

 

These new codes are intended to be used only by the consultant physician.  The patient’s treating physician, which is typically the attending or primary care physician, who is seeking the consultant’s opinion or advice with respect to diagnosis and/or management of the patient will not be able to use these codes for his or her portion of the conversation.

These new codes are “consultations,” which means you must provide a written report to the requesting physician to qualify for the code.