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A number of factors are keeping COVID vaccines out of most physician practices, despite an urgent need to disseminate them. But experts believe the situation will change in due course, and practices should prepare to notify patients as soon as it does.
The new E/M office visit guidelines for history and physical examinations give clinicians more freedom. They also spare coders the trouble of counting points for these portions of the patient encounter. However, coders and clinicians should work together to establish the sort of documentation that will protect patients by supporting continuity of care, maintain revenue by supporting their claims and help clinicians by keeping their workload as light as possible.
Having provided reimbursement programs for other COVID-related costs unpaid by patients, HHS has now set up a new initiative to make sure providers get reimbursed for vaccine administration that’s not covered by some patients’ insurance plans.
Pay close attention to revisions and corrections to the E/M office visit guidelines that kicked in Jan. 1. The AMA has made a number of updates, and you will need to refer to the “Errata and Technical Corrections CPT 2021” document issued on the AMA website March 9 for the freshest E/M guidance.
In a recent five-year span, the use of inpatient codes declined at a faster rate than they had in previous years, and denial rates dropped even more quickly.


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