Make your physician’s job easier by letting the patient or nurse document the history.
If your physician glosses over a patient’s past, family, and social history (PFSH), you may be missing out on up to $69 per E/M. Accurately counting the number of PFSH items could result in more money for an encounter, because the top-level E/M codes require PFSH elements in addition to an extended history of present illness, and more than 1 system reviewed. Learn these three quick tips to ensure your physician is capturing, and you’re recognizing, every history component the patient mentions.
1. Determine the Level of PFSH
For coding purposes, the history portion of an E/M service requires all three elements — history of present illness (HPI), review of systems (ROS), and a past, family and social history (PFSH). Therefore, the PFSH helps determine patient history level, which has a great effect on the E/M level you can report. If you do not know the PFSH level, you may have to select a lower level of E/M service than might otherwise be warranted. There are three levels of PFSH: none, pertinent, and complete, says Leah Gross, CPC, coding lead at Metro Urology in St. Paul, Minn.
Pertinent: To reach a detailed level of history for the encounter (in addition to an extended HPI and the review of 2-9 systems), you need a pertinent PFSH. According to Medicare’s Documentation Guidelines for E/M Services, you need at least one specific item from any of the three PFSH areas to achieve the pertinent level. When the physician asks only about one history area related to the main problem, this is a pertinent PFSH.
Complete: To reach a comprehensive level of history for the encounter (in addition to an extended HPI and the...
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