Cognitive Assessment and Care Planning Services

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Cognitive Assessment and Care Planning Services: Alzheimer’s Association Expert Task Force Recommendations and Tools for Implementation
1. Background and introduction to CPT® code 99483
The Alzheimer’s Association® has long advocated for Medicare reimbursement for services aimed at improving detection, diagnosis, and care planning and coordination for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) and their caregivers (Attea, Johns, 2010). These efforts, embodied in the Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education for Alzheimer’s (HOPE) Act and aided by support from physician groups involved in developing new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes, culminated in approval of a Medicare procedure code, G0505, which took effect January 1, 2017. In January 2018, G0505 was replaced by CPT code 99483. Code 99483 provides reimbursement to physicians and other eligible billing practitioners for a comprehensive clinical visit that results in a written care plan. Code 99483 requires an independent historian; a multidimensional assessment that includes cognition, function, and safety; evaluation of neuropsychiatric and behavioral symptoms; review and reconciliation of medications; and assessment of the needs of the patient’s caregiver. (See the CPT 2018 manual for full details.) These components are central to informing, designing and delivering a care plan suitable for patients with cognitive impairment (Anonymous. Fed Register 2016).
The Alzheimer’s Association Expert Task Force provided information and suggestions on the content and use of Code G0505 (now 99483) to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) during the comment phase (Alzheimer’s Association Task Force, 2016), and reconvened in November 2016 to make recommendations about how to conduct the required assessments. Its recommendations derive from a broad consensus 1ab. ou1t good clinical practice, informed by intervention trials and emphasizing validated assessment tools that can be implemented in routine clinical care across the United States. The multidisciplinary task force was comprised of geographically dispersed experts in the United States who provide ongoing clinical care for individuals with ADRD and/or have published recognized works in the field.
2. Who is eligible to receive this comprehensive care planning service?
Cognitive assessment and care plan services are provided when a comprehensive evaluation of a new or existing patient, who exhibits signs and/or symptoms of cognitive impairment, is required to establish or confirm a diagnosis, etiology and severity for the condition.
Do not report cognitive assessment and care plan services if any of the required elements are not performed or are deemed unnecessary for the patient’s condition. For these services, see the appropriate evaluation and management (E/M) code. (American Medical Association, CPT 2018).
3. Who can provide this service?
Any practitioner eligible to report E/M services can provide this service. Eligible providers include physicians (MD and DO), nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and physician assistants. Eligible practitioners must provide documentation that supports a moderate-to-high level of complexity in medical decision making, as defined by E/M guidelines (with application as appropriate of the usual “incident-to” rules, consistent with other E/M services) (Anonymous. Fed Register 2016). The provider must also document the detailed care plan developed as a result of each required element covered by 99483.

Used with permission of the American Medical Association. (American Medical Association, 2018 Current Procedural Terminology) ©Copyright American Medical Association (2018). All rights reserved. | 800.272.3900


4. What must the clinician do to meet the required elements for code 99483?
Assessment of and care planning for a patient with cognitive impairment, requiring an independent historian, in the office or other outpatient, home, domiciliary or rest home setting with all of the following required elements:
• Cognition-focused evaluation including a pertinent history and examination; • Medical decision making of moderate or high complexity; • Functional assessment (eg, basic and instrumental activities of daily living), including decision-making capacity; • Use of standardized instruments for staging of dementia (eg, functional assessment staging test [FAST], clinical
dementia rating [CDR]); • Medication reconciliation and review for high-risk medications; • Evaluation for neuropsychiatric and behavioral symptoms, including depression, including use of standardized
screening instrument(s); • Evaluation of safety (eg, home), including motor vehicle operation; • Identification of caregiver(s), caregiver knowledge, caregiver needs, social supports, and the willingness
of caregiver to take on caregiving tasks; • Development, updating or revision, or review of an Advance Care Plan; • Creation of a written care plan, including initial plans to address any neuropsychiatric symptoms, neurocognitive
symptoms, functional limitations, and referral to community resources as needed (eg, rehabilitation services, adult day programs, support groups) shared with the patient and/or caregiver with initial education and support.
Typically, 50 minutes are spent face to face with the patient and/or family or caregiver.
See the 2018 CPT manual for the full description and detailed instructions for code 99483.
5. When, where and by whom can the required elements be assessed?
1. 2 The nine assessment elements of 99483 can be evaluated within the care planning visit or in one or more visits that precede it, using appropriate billing codes (most often an E/M code). Patients with complex medical, behavioral, psychosocial and/or caregiving needs may require a series of assessment visits, while those with well-defined or less complex problems may be fully assessed during the care plan visit. Results of assessments conducted prior to the care plan visit are allowed in care planning documentation provided they remain valid or are updated with any changes at the time of care planning.
A single physician or other qualified health care professional should not report 99483 more than once every 180 days.
Many of the required assessment elements can be completed by appropriately trained members of the clinical team working with the eligible provider. Assessments that require the direct participation of a knowledgeable care partner or caregiver, such as a structured assessment of the patient’s functioning at home or a caregiver stress measure, may be completed prior to the clinical visit and provided to the clinician for inclusion in care planning. Care planning visits can be conducted in the office or other outpatient, home, domiciliary or rest home settings.
6. What measurement tools should be used to support the care planning process and its documentation?
Standardized, validated tools are preferred whenever possible and are required for some elements (see Table 1 for suggested tools). Such tools offer a basic framework on which to build a nuanced clinical understanding of care needs through ongoing clinical contact with the patient and caregiver. Though all required elements must be represented, the choice of assessment tools should be customized for differing clinician styles and practice composition, workflows and overall clinical goals. For example, primary care providers and dementia specialists may prefer different tools. | 800.272.3900


For several domains of care planning, simple, validated tools do not yet exist, and where they do, not all have been formally tested for validity and uptake in actual primary care practices. In the table below, those that have been tested in primary care are marked with an asterisk; those untested in primary care have either high face validity (e.g., Safety Assessment checklist) or published validation data that support further use. Ideally, tools should be:
• Practical: Time and effort to complete them fit the primary care clinical setting. • Parsimonious: Provide enough information to support a meaningful care plan. • Scorable: Results depicted in a single number. • Retrievable: Easily incorporated into electronic health record fields and searchable at the point of care.

Table 1: Suggested Measures to Support the Care-Planning Process The table below provides examples of simpler and more complex tools acceptable for assessing each domain. In some settings, a simple tool might be sufficient; in others, it could be used to trigger a more complex assessment or be replaced
by a more detailed measure.

Domain Cognition

Suggested measures Mini-Cog GPCOG Short MoCA Katz (ADL), Lawton-Brody (IADL)

Comments ≤ 3 min, validated in primary care Patient/informant components ~ 5 min, needs testing in primary care Caregiver rated

Stage of cognitive impairment

Dementia Severity Ratin1g.Sc3ale

Caregiver rated, correlates with Clinical Dementia Rating


3-level rating: able to make own decisions, not able, uncertain/needs more evaluation

Global clinician judgment

Neuropsychiatric symptoms Depression
Medication review and reconciliation

Med list + name of person overseeing home meds

Safety Caregiver identification and needs assessment
Advance care planning

Safety Assessment Guide Caregiver Profile Checklist
Single-Item Stress Thermometer PHQ-2 End-of-Life Checklist

10 items 6 high-impact items Depression identification
Identify/reconsider high-risk meds; assess for reliable administration by self or other 7 questions (patient/caregiver)
Ability/willingness to care, needs for information, education, and support Rapid identification of stress Depression Screen for preferences and legal needs | 800.272.3900


7. The written care plan
Preparing the plan The care plan should reflect a synthesis of the information acquired as part of the assessment. It should be written in language that is easily understood, indicate who has responsibility for carrying out each recommended action step and specify an initial follow-up schedule.
Some clinicians find it useful to organize the care plan into broad components, such as:
• Specific characteristics of the cognitive disorder (e.g., type and severity of cognitive impairment; special hazards such as falls or orthostatic hypotension in Lewy body dementia; or referral to a dementia specialist for further diagnostic assessment or complex management).
• Management of any neuropsychiatric symptoms, including referrals for caregiver stress and behavior management training or psychiatric care for the patient as indicated.
• Comorbid medical conditions and safety management, including any changes needed to accommodate the effects of cognitive impairment.
• Caregiver stress and support needs, including primary care counseling and, as indicated, referrals to communitybased education and support, specialized individual or family counseling, or in-home care, legal or financial assistance.
Documenting and sharing the plan Though not required by 99483, a standardized care plan template customized to the provider or health care system simplifies communication and tracking of patient care and outcomes over time. The written plan must be discussed with and given to the patient and and/or family or caregiver; this face-to-face conversation must be documented in the clinical note for all encounters reported using 99483. The care plan must be filed in the patient’s medical record where it can be easily retrieved and updated. Sharing the plan with other providers caring for the patient, including clinicians, care managers, caseworkers, and others who assist the patient and caregiver, both within and outside the primary care environment will help ensure continuity and coordination of care. W1.he4n such sharing requires explicit consent of the patient, family caregiver or legally designated decision-maker (DPOA holder), that permission should be sought and documented.
8. How often can 99483 be used?
Qualified health care professionals may report 99483 as frequently as once per 180 days, per CPT. However, payer policy may say otherwise and should be consulted. Care plans should be revised at intervals and whenever there is a change in the patient’s clinical or caregiving status. Medicare intermediaries may audit the frequency of use.
9. How does 99483 relate to Chronic Care Management (CPT 99490)?
CPT code 99490 is an appropriate service to use for monthly care management of a patient with dementia plus at least one other chronic condition, after a cognitive impairment care plan has been developed and documented.
10. Identifying proper coding
CPT code 99483 was developed to provide reimbursement for comprehensive evaluation of a new or existing patient, who exhibits signs and/or symptoms of cognitive impairment, is required to establish or confirm a diagnosis, etiology and severity for the condition. This service includes a thorough evaluation of medical and psychosocial factors, potentially contributing to increased morbidity. Do not report cognitive assessment and care plan services if any of the required elements are not performed or are deemed unnecessary for the patient’s condition. For these services, see the appropriate evaluation and management code. | 800.272.3900


Table 2: Commonly used ICD-10 codes for dementia and mild cognitive impairment

Code G300 G301 G309 F01.50 F01.51 F02.80 F02.81 F03.90 F03.91 G31.01 G31.09 G31.85 G31.83 G31.84

Description Dementia Alzheimer’s disease with early-onset Dementia Alzheimer’s disease with late-onset Dementia Alzheimer’s disease, unspecified Vascular dementia without behavioral disturbance Vascular dementia with behavioral disturbance Dementia in other diseases classified elsewhere without behavioral disturbance Dementia in other diseases classified elsewhere with behavioral disturbance Unspecified dementia without behavioral disturbance Unspecified dementia with behavioral disturbance Pick's disease Other frontotemporal dementia Corticobasal degeneration Dementia with Lewy bodies Mild cognitive impairment, so stated

Table 3: CPT codes that cannot be reported in conjunction with 99483 Because many 99483 elements overlap with other CPT codes, CMS provides specific guidelines on which CPT codes
cannot be reported together with 99483 on the same date of service. It is important to note that Medicare Advantage Plans and Accountable Care Organizations may have different reim1b.ur5sement criteria. Payer policy should be consulted.

Code 90785 90791 90792 96103 96120 96127 96160-96161 99201 – 99215 99241-99245 99324 – 99337 99341 – 99350 99366 – 99368 99497 99498 99605-99607 G0506
G0181, G0182

Description Psychotherapy complex interactive Psychiatric diagnostic evaluation Psychiatric diagnostic evaluation with medical services Psychological testing administered by a computer Neuropsychological testing administered with a computer Brief emotional/behavioral assessment Health risk assessment administration Office/outpatient visits new New or established patient office or outpatient consultation services Domicile/rest home visits new patient Home visits new patient Team conference with patient by healthcare professional Advanced care plan 30 min Advanced care plan additional 30 min Medication therapy management services Comprehensive assessment of and care planning by the billing practitioner for patients requiring CCM services Home health care and hospice supervision | 800.272.3900


Table 4: CPT codes that can be reported with 99483 on the same date of service CMS does not believe the services described in 99483 would significantly overlap with the following codes.

Code 99358, 99359
99487, 99489, 99490
99495, 99496

Description Non-face-to-face prolonged services Chronic care management (CCM) services
Transitional care management (TCM) services

1. 6 | 800.272.3900


References (partial)
Alzheimer’s Association Expert Task Force. Alzheimer’s Association Expert Task Force Consensus Statement on CMS Proposed Billing Code for the Assessment and Care Planning for Individuals with Cognitive Impairment. Release September 6, 2016. Available at: pdf?docID=51841. Accessed November 29, 2016.
Anonymous. Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2017. Fed Regist 2016;81:80170. Available at: documents/2016/11/15/2016-26668/medicare-program-revisions-to-payment-policies-under-the-physicianfee-schedule-and-other-revisions. Accessed November 22, 2016.
American Medical Association, 2018 Current Procedural Terminology.
Attea, P. and Johns, H. (2010), Confronting Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 58: 1587–1590. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.02963.x
Steenland NK, Auman CM, Patel PM, et al: Development of a rapid screening instrument for mild cognitive impairment and undiagnosed dementia. J Alzheimer Dis 2008; 15:419–427
Alzheimer’s Association Expert Task Force
Soo Borson, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA; Memory Disorders Clinic and Dementia Health Services, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA
Malaz Boustani, Indiana University Center for Aging Research, Indi1a.na7polis, IN; Regenstrief Institute, Inc., Indianapolis, IN; Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
Anna Chodos, Division of Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA; Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, CA
Josh Chodosh, Veterans Administration Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA; Division of Geriatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Jatin Dave, New England Quality Care Alliance (NEQCA), Boston, MA
Lisa Gwyther, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC; Joseph and Kathleen Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (Bryan ADRC), Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC
Monica Parker, Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA; Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Susan Reed, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, Houston, TX
David Rueben, Division of Geriatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Stephen Stabile, PrimeCare Community Health, Chicago, IL
Matthew Baumgart, Alzheimer’s Association, Chicago, IL
Beth Kallmyer, Alzheimer’s Association, Chicago, IL
Joanne Pike, Alzheimer’s Association, Chicago, IL
Bill Thies, Alzheimer’s Association, Chicago, IL | 800.272.3900


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Cognitive Assessment and Care Planning Services