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Among other big E/M changes arriving soon, Level 1 new patient office code 99201 is going away in 2021. The transition shouldn’t hamstring your coding efforts. But keep two important elements in mind to avoid disruptions: Follow the AMA and CMS guidelines for the remaining E/M codes and resist the temptation to simply kick your former 99201 cases up a level without proper documentation.
Providers are required to help patients with hearing issues understand their treatment, and experts point out that the shift to telemedicine can help — or potentially complicate — the process, depending on how you approach it.
Take a first look at the CPT codes you’ll report next year for a variety of services, including the prolonged service E/M code that you can tack onto time-based E/M office visits. All told, you’ll find more than 200 new codes, 48 revisions and 52 deletions, according to a 2021 CPT data file released Sept. 1.
You’ll have one fewer E/M office visit code to report in 2021 after the AMA finalized its plan to delete 99201 from the CPT master list. While use of 99201 is trending down, some specialties that have continued to stick with it should hardwire alternative options into their 2021 coding scheme.


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