HomeWashington Letter2019 ▶ ATS/CHEST Survey Membership on Physician Office Visits
ATS/CHEST Survey Membership on Physician Office Visits

Dear Colleague:

In the next few weeks, you may be selected to participate in an AMA/Specialty Society RVS Update Committee (RUC) survey for physician office visits (99202-99205, 99211-99215) and a new prolonged services code (99XXX). As you may know, the components of the Medicare Physician Payment Schedule are physician work, practice expense and professional liability insurance. This survey will help the pulmonary, critical and sleep medicine community, in concert with the RUC, recommend accurate relative values for physician work and direct practice expense to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The CPT guidelines and descriptors to report office visit codes will undergo extensive revision for implementation in 2021. Code level selection will either be based solely on medical decision-making or total time on the date of the visit. The extent of history and physical examination will no longer be an element in the code level selection of office visits. When you receive this important survey, please be sure to read the new CPT guidelines and code descriptors in detail before taking the survey. A link to the survey, with the new guidelines for office visits, will be provided in an email in the next few weeks for you to participate.

Please note that the second section of this survey is intended to capture practice expense in the physician office. When you get to the practice expense section of this survey please be prepared to work with your clinical staff and practice manager to capture information such as nurse time spent related to each code level of the office visits, and the typical medical supplies and equipment used in the provision of the visit.

For more information on the RUC survey process, please watch the following YouTube video: Understanding the RUC Survey Instrument

This survey is very important to the pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine community and the medical profession. To ensure integrity of the data, we ask that you do not collaborate with any other physician on your responses to the physician work portion of this survey. Please do not hesitate to contact staff (gewart@thoracic.org) with any questions or requests for further explanation.


Omar Husain DO, Co-Chair, Joint ATS/CHEST Clinical Practice Committee

Kevin Kovitz MD, Co-Chair, Joint ATS/CHEST Clinical Practice Committee

Last Reviewed: February 2019