Acute versus Chronic Conditions for Office E/M Services

Acute versus Chronic Conditions for Office E/M Services

March 24, 2022

When determining if an illness is chronic versus acute is it based on how long the patient has had the condition or is it based on if the condition is considered a chronic or acute condition?

The AMA defines chronic as: A problem with an expected duration of at least a year or until the death of the patient.

An Acute problem is “A recent or new short-term problem with low risk of morbidity for which treatment is considered. There is little to no risk of mortality with treatment, and full recovery without functional impairment is expected.” An acute problem can be uncomplicated, acute complicated or acute with systemic symptoms. Please reference this link for the AMA definitions.

Keep in mind the practitioner should document the whether the condition is acute or chronic if the condition is stable or exacerbating.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 03/24/22



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