Benchmark Systems continuously works to improve software for our clients. As updates and enhancements become available, details are sent out to each client. With each update we have our customer service team available to help walk through the upgrades to ensure our clients understand the full capabilities. Recent enhancements to Benchmark EHR accommodate recent changes to E&M coding rules.  These new guidelines are effective as of 1/1/2021 dates of service

When a client visits the E&M screen in Benchmark EHR they are to choose a level of Medical Decision Making and/or Time Factor.  When the Medical Decision Making is chosen using the dropdown box provided at the bottom of the screen, the system automatically accounts for all history, HPI, ROS, and Physical Exam elements before giving the suggested code to use.  If the minimum threshold for any of those elements is not met for that level of Medical Decision Making the system will suggest the lower code based on the elements documented in the encounter. Before chosen, the system will notify the user what could be done to meet the specifications for the higher code.  However, if a Time Factor is chosen prior to choosing the level of Medical Decision Making then the previously mentioned elements are not considered when the system suggests a code.  The system automatically gives the highest code that the Time Factor chosen will allow.

With the new enhancement for Benchmark EMR, rules for E&M codes, the previously mentioned elements (history, HPI, ROS, and Physical Exam), will no longer be considered when using Medical Decision Making or Time Factor.  Upon installing the enhancement there will be a link provided on the E&M screen that gives each user a breakdown of the new E&M Code Guideline changes.  When choosing the Medical Decision Making level, the user will now click the hyperlinked level they wish to choose.  Upon clicking, the user will be presented with an additional screen that will help the user ensure they are choosing the appropriate level along with adding any additional notes they wish to add.  If a Time Factor is chosen instead of the Medical Decision Making a pop-up window appears to add additional notes but those notes are mandatory to document what the time was used for during the appointment.  An additional change is for Prolonged Services which can accompany an office visit code of 99205 or 99215.  This is notated with a new code of 99417 and is billed for each additional 15 minutes to the encounter by use of Units.  If a patient is seen for 1-15 minutes longer than the time allotted for a 99205 or 99215 the user can bill one unit of 99417 along with the normal office visit code; if 16-30 additional minutes then it’s 2 units and so on.  When the office visit code 99205 or 99215 is chosen in the EMR the user will be presented with a new 99417 row near the bottom of the E&M screen.  The user chooses the Additional Minutes Spent from a dropdown box and that will automatically generate the appropriate Number of Units to bill with the 99417 code.

As always, everything keyed in the E&M screen for coding will automatically flow to the Assessment screen under the CPT/HCPC tab.  This will also automatically flow to the PM for clients taking advantage of our Charge Import module in Benchmark PM.

If you have any questions regarding the latest enhancements to Benchmark EMR, please reach out to our customer support team at or call 1-800-779-0902.

Interested in learning more about Benchmark EMR, visit here.

New E&M Screen
Medical Decision Making Pop Up