The 2021 E/M Data Area—Updated Already – Review of Ophthalmology

The new codes, changes and quality-of-care requirements you need to know about to be prepared for the year to come.

This article addresses the following questions:


  • What did the AMA change as it relates to the Time-based code option for E/M?
  • What are the changes related to categorizing the ordering of tests under the Data area when using MDM instead of time?
  • What’s the AMA’s determination on what constitutes ‘independent interpretation’ under the Data area, as opposed to a “review of test”?
  • Do the letters I send to the primary care doctors of my diabetic patients count as “Discussion” under the Data area of MDM so that I could have the “Moderate” level?
  • Are there any other important clarifications to the Data area?
  • I often get referrals from outside doctors in my glaucoma practice and they include old visual fields and OCTs of the nerve. How do I categorize them?

This article was published in Review of Ophthalmology’s Medicare Q & A column, which is written by Corcoran’s Senior Consultant, Paul M. Larson, MBA, MMSc, COMT, COE, CPC, CPMA. To view the entire article in Review of Ophthalmology, click on the link below:

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