Since the late 1990s, American physicians have labored under a set of tortuous documentation requirements imposed upon them by our government. The E&M guidelines (for “evaluation and management”), apply to the documentation that physicians are now obligated to provide in support of their Medicare billing. The E&M guidelines, first instituted in 1995 and revised in 1997, were part of the Clintons’ great fraud reduction initiative. Ostensibly, the strict documentation requirements reduce the opportunity for fraudulent billing.
While doctors initially railed against the E&M guidelines, they now suffer them in relative silence. The E&M guidelines have become, in fact, just one more hurdle which doctors must navigate as they pick their way through the vast obstacle course that now defines the practice of American medicine. Indeed, younger doctors accept the odious documentation requirements as a matter of course, knowing nothing better, just as children born into the direst third-world slums accept their abject poverty without notable complaint. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Covert Rationing Blog*