E&M Codes 2021: Good News, for a Change

Just about exactly eight years ago, I wrote a series of posts that began with this paragraph:

If you’re a psychiatrist (or psychiatric RNCS) in the US reading this, you are almost certainly aware that all of our billing codes changed on Jan 1, 2013.  If you are like most of the psychiatrists I know—at least in private practice—you are at least somewhat freaked out by this.  If so, keep reading.  If not—for example, if you’re not a psychiatrist in the US—stop reading this immediately and go do something more interesting, like… well, like just about anything other than memorizing a phone book.  (There used to be things called phone books…  never mind.)

Unlike 2013, the billing codes themselves have not changed, but as of January 1, 2021, the documentation requirements for these codes have gotten significantly less complex and onerous. Like then, this post should be of no interest to you if your are not a US psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse. But if you are—and especially if a significant portion of your practice is psychotherapy—the situation is very different from 2013 because these changes are:

  • good news
  • not widely publicized
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