42 CFR § 415.172 - Physician fee schedule payment for services of teaching physicians.

§ 415.172 Physician fee schedule payment for services of teaching physicians.

(a) General rule. If a resident participates in a service furnished in a teaching setting, physician fee schedule payment is made only if a teaching physician is present during the key portion of any service or procedure for which payment is sought. During the Public Health Emergency, as defined in § 400.200 of this chapter, for the COVID-19 pandemic, if a resident participates in a service furnished in a teaching setting, physician fee schedule payment is made if a teaching physician is present during the key portion of the service using audio/video real-time communications technology for any service or procedure for which payment is sought.

(1) In the case of surgical, high-risk, or other complex procedures, the teaching physician must be present during all critical portions of the procedure and immediately available to furnish services during the entire service or procedure.

(i) In the case of surgery, the teaching physician's presence is not required during opening and closing of the surgical field.

(ii) In the case of procedures performed through an endoscope, the teaching physician must be present during the entire viewing.

(2) In the case of evaluation and management services, the teaching physician must be present during the portion of the service that determines the level of service billed. (However, in the case of evaluation and management services furnished in hospital outpatient departments and certain other ambulatory settings, the requirements of § 415.174 apply.) During the Public Health Emergency, as defined in § 400.200 of this chapter, for the COVID-19 pandemic, the teaching physician may be present during the portion of the service that determines the level of service billed using audio/video real-time communications technology. (However, in the case of evaluation and management services furnished in hospital outpatient departments and certain other ambulatory settings, the requirements of § 415.174 apply.)

(b) Documentation. Except for services furnished as set forth in §§ 415.174 (concerning an exception for services furnished in hospital outpatient and certain other ambulatory settings), 415.176 (concerning renal dialysis services), and 415.184 (concerning psychiatric services), the medical records must document the teaching physician was present at the time the service is furnished. The presence of the teaching physician during procedures and evaluation and management services may be demonstrated by the notes in the medical records made by the physician or as provided in § 410.20(e) of this chapter. During the Public Health Emergency, as defined in § 400.200 of this chapter, for the COVID-19 pandemic, except for services furnished as set forth in §§ 415.174 (concerning an exception for services furnished in hospital outpatient and certain other ambulatory settings), 415.176 (concerning renal dialysis services), and 415.184 (concerning psychiatric services), the medical records must document if the teaching physician was physically present or if the teaching physician was present through audio/video real-time communications technology at the time the service is furnished. The presence of the teaching physician during procedures and evaluation and management services may be demonstrated by the notes in the medical records made by the physician or as provided in § 410.20(e) of this chapter.

(c) Payment level. In the case of services such as evaluation and management for which there are several levels of service codes available for reporting purposes, the appropriate payment level must reflect the extent and complexity of the service when fully furnished by the teaching physician.

[60 FR 63178, Dec. 8, 1995, as amended at 83 FR 60091, Nov. 23, 2018; 84 FR 63201, Nov. 15, 2019; 85 FR 19288, Apr. 6, 2020; 85 FR 27623, May 8, 2020]