E/M Coding Based on Time

E/M Coding Based on Time

April 27, 2023

When choosing the level of E/M we are confused about the History and Exam. If we choose a level of E/M based on time, does this time count toward total time, or is it only time spent on MDM?

When choosing a level of E/M based on time, CPT identifies the following activities as those that may contribute to total time on the date of service. As displayed below in bold font, obtaining the history and performing the exam contribute to the total time for code selection. These activities occur on the same day as the actual encounter to contribute to the level of service.
Physician/other qualified health care professional time includes the following activities when performed:

  • preparing to see the patient (eg, review of tests);
  • obtaining and/or reviewing separately obtained history;
  • performing a medically appropriate examination and/or evaluation;
  • counseling and educating the patient/family/ caregiver;
  • ordering medications, tests, or procedures;
  • referring and communicating with other health care professionals (when not separately reported);
  • documenting clinical information in the electronic or other health record;
  • independently interpreting results (when not separately reported) and communicating results to the patient/family/caregiver; and
  • care coordination (when not separately reported).

source: CPT Assistant April 2022

*This response is based on the best information available as of 04/27/23.




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