How the 2021 E and M changes are going to impact Podiatry

In case you have been living under a rock, in 2021, Medicare is changing the requirements for E and M coding for Medicare. Needless to say these changes to E and M will greatly effect Podiatry, and especially Podiatry Billing and Coding. The 99201-99215 codes the changes will take effect on January 1st 2021, so what is going to happen:

99201: Will cease to exist as a code so it will be deleted

99202:  will reduce the time requirement for a Podiatrist to meet with a patient from 20 minutes to 15 minutes. One other point about this is the AMA will no longer mean 15 minutes of face to face time. For example, if a Podiatrist takes five minutes to prep for an ingrown toenail surgery, that five minutes to prep can be included in the total 15 minutes of the visit. The same would be true about sending the patient for X rays. In a way this will reduce the time burden on Podiatrists with the billing.

This is a good article that goes into insane detail on the changes in the timing requirement if you are interested.

Now one of the big changes that you must factor into your billing and coding for E and M is a Podiatrist will be the degree of medical decision making that you see with the patient. So basically if you are going to start billing 99204 or 99205 you probably want a diabetic ulcer or surgery consulting. If you are billing those for simple Plantar Fasciitis or ingrown toenails you are probably going to run into some trouble. Here is a nice long article that explains the decision making aspects of the new E and M changes for Podiatrists.

If you are still nervous and have a lot of questions that are not covered in this article somebody actually wrote a book about billing E and M in 2021, so it might be worth checking out as it goes into insane depth about this. I would probably recommend this book if you are a Podiatrist that up codes a lot of your evaluation and management billing.

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