June 1998 Bulletin

CPT panel developing new guidelines

The American Medical Association's CPT editorial panel is moving forward on developing a new version of the documentation guidelines for Medicare Evaluation and Management services. The CPT editorial panel is expected to meet in August to develop a final draft document which will be reviewed by Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) and field-tested in the fall.

Bowing to overwhelming objections of physicians, HCFA delayed the guidelines indefinately until new guidelines could be developed and field-tested and physicians and carriers could be educated on the use of the guidelines. Physicians objected that the guidelines were too complex and time consuming and would take needed time away from patient care.

In the interim, HCFA said Medicare carriers have been instructed to use either the 1994 or 1997, whichever is more advantageous to the physician.

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