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General Surgery Coding Alert

CPT® 2012:

Use Latest E/M Tweaks to Establish New Patient Status

Same practice and specialty no longer preclude new patients.You've faced the dilemma before -- when an established patient presents to your practice to see a different physician that he's never seen before, should you report a new patient office visit code? With a revision to the "New and Established Patient" section of the CPT® 2012 manual, you'll find a solution that could affect your bottom line.'Subspecialty' Rules the DayCurrently, CPT® indicates that a "new patient" refers to a patient who has not received any professional services, such as an E/M or other face-to-face service, from the physician or physician group practice -- within the same physician specialty -- within the past three years.Clarification: CPT® 2012 takes that definition a step further, now stating, "A new patient is one who has not received any professional services from the physician or another physician of the exact same specialty and subspecialty who belongs to the same [...]

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