PT and OT Reevaluation Coding

January 4th, 2018 - Find-A-Code
Categories:   CPT® Coding   Physical Medicine|Physical Therapy   Billing   Documentation Guidelines  
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According to CGS Administrators, the reevaluation is focused on evaluation of progress toward current goals and making a professional judgment about continued care, modifying goals and/or treatment, or terminating services. Reevaluation provides additional objective information not included in other documentation, such as treatment or progress notes.

Reevaluations are distinct from therapy assessments. Assessments are considered a routine aspect of intervention and are not billed separately from the intervention. For example, a patient is being seen in physical or occupational therapy for shoulder pain and limited shoulder functional range of motion due to capsular tightness. Prior to performing shoulder joint mobilizations, the therapist assesses the patient’s ROM and pain level/pattern to determine the effect of prior treatment and, if further mobilization is warranted, to determine the appropriate mobilizations. After the mobilizations are completed, the ROM is assessed again to determine the effects of the treatment just performed. The time required to assess the patient before and after the intervention is added to the minutes of the treatment intervention (code 97140 in this example). Continuous assessment of the patient’s progress is a component of the ongoing therapy services, and is not payable as a reevaluation.

Consider the following points when billing for a reevaluation.

  • Indications for a reevaluation include new clinical findings, a significant change in the patient's condition, or failure to respond to the therapeutic interventions outlined in the plan of care.
  • When reevaluations are done for a significant change in condition, documentation must show a significant improvement, decline or change in the patient’s diagnosis, condition or functional status that was not anticipated in the current plan of care. When a patient exhibits a demonstrable change in functional ability, a reevaluation may be necessary to revise long term goals and interventions. The plan of care may need to be revised and recertified if significant changes are made, such as a change in the long-term goals.
  • If a patient is hospitalized during the therapy interval, a reevaluation may be medically necessary if there has been a significant change in the patient’s condition which has caused a change in function, long term goals, and/or treatment plan.
  • Reevaluations may be appropriate at a planned discharge when documentations supports the medical necessity for the reevaluation service.
  • Therapy reevaluations should contain all the applicable components of an initial evaluation and must be completed by a clinician. (See the Reevaluation section of Documentation Requirements for information regarding therapy assistant participation in the reevaluation process.)
  • A reevaluation is not a routine, recurring service. Do not bill for routine reevaluations, including those done for the purpose of completing an updated plan of care, a recertification report, a progress report, or a physician progress report. Although some state regulations and practice acts require reevaluations at specific intervals, for Medicare payment, reevaluations must meet Medicare coverage guidelines.
  • These reevaluation codes are untimed, billable as one unit.
  • Do not bill for reevaluations as unlisted codes (97039, 97139, 97799) or test and measurement, ROM, MMT codes (95831-95834, 95851-95852, 97750, 97755).

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