January 25, 2018

CMS Revises 2018 Patient Facing Encounter Codes

On Jan. 24, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a revised patient facing encounter codes list for 2018.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) commented and is pleased that CMS accepted its recommendations to remove eight radiology codes that should not be used in considering radiologist’s MIPS patient facing status. The procedures include paracentesis (49082, 49083), thoracentesis (32554, 32555), joint injections (64490, 64493), lumbar puncture (62270) and myelography (62284).

The ACR reasoned in its comments that when these procedures are performed there is very limited patient interaction during the encounter, and no evaluation and management services are billed as part of these encounters. Many diagnostic radiologists perform a significant number of these imaging-guided procedures, as ordered by the patients’ primary care physicians. With these code deletions, many groups or individual radiologists may find that they may be considered “non-patient facing” for the 2018 MIPS performance year, when their status was patient facing they were not for the 2017 performance year.

The ACR MACRA Committee and staff will continue to monitor and comment on the various CMS changes to the Quality Payment Program as they occur throughout the coming year.

Click here to view the updated list.