Most of you are well aware of the 2021 E/M coding changes based on medical decision making (MDM) or solely on total time. Our question for you is whether or not your practice has the tools available to support these changes. At TriMed, our team of developers has been working hard to develop time tracking tools that will give providers a summary of total time at the end of a visit to help them determine whether to code based on time or MDM.
Time requirements have changed and now every minute falls into a category. This is measured by the entire time a provider spends on a patient during any given date of service. This is where TriMed’s tools are extremely helpful. From the moment a provider opens the patient’s chart and begins prepping for the visit (e.g., reading history, reviewing records, etc.) the clock starts. If the provider goes into another room or opens an additional chart the clock will pause. If the chart remains open but no clicks occur after a few minutes the system will ask the provider, “Are you still there?” and then pause the timer if there is no response. Therefore the time calculated is accurate and can be trusted to assist the provider in making coding decisions.
A provider gains the ability to code how they want by providing total time spent with a patient at the end of the visit before signing off on the note, allowing them to manually choose whether or to code a patient based on total time or MDM.
At TriMed our goal is to partner with independent physician practices and provide tools that allow providers to care more efficiently and effectively. The time tracker is another great tool for physicians to have at their disposal. Not only does it assist in saving time when coding and documenting care, it also supports independent practices being reimbursed for all that they are justified to be reimbursed for. And we know that a good bottom line makes everyone in the practice happy!