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Diagnoses per Encounter by Telephone, Televideo, and In-Office Visits

HumanInsight Diagnoses per Encounter by Telephone, Televideo, and In-Office Visits

J Am Board Fam Med. 2022 May-Jun;35(3):491-496. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2022.03.210451.


INTRODUCTION: We sought to determine if there are differences between number of International Classification of Disease-10 (ICD-10) codes per visit before and after COVID-19 when comparing in-office visits and between telemedicine vs in-office visits, toward the goal of determining value of telemedicine visits relative to in-office visits.

METHODS: We did a chart review study assessing the number of ICD-10 codes noted by providers at a large academic medical institution in 2019 and 2020. Only in-office visits were reviewed in 2019. The focus of analysis was on individual patient visits per visit type; however, a subset of patients who had visits in both 2019 and 2020 were also analyzed. We compared mean number of diagnoses for encounter types using encounter, billing and coding data.

RESULTS: We analyzed 211,829 patient encounters. For 2020, 73% were in office. Mean number of diagnoses per encounter for 2019 was 2.65 (in office only), compared with 3.04 in office, 2.76 telephone, and 2.48 televideo for 2020.

DISCUSSION: We found an increase in the number of diagnoses addressed during in-office visits from 2019 to 2020. When looking at diagnoses managed per visit, all 3 types of visits had similar complexity. These results may guide future reimbursement policy for telemedicine visits.

PMID:35641059 | DOI:10.3122/jabfm.2022.03.210451

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