Chiropractic documentation gap analysis

Recognize what’s missing to master your reimbursement and collections!

This Documentation Gap Analysis allows us to evaluate the significant components of your current Documentation program. It should take less than 5 minutes to complete.

Take The Billing GAP Analysis

Need more guided help? Work with a KMC coach 1-on-1

Sometimes you need more than a self-service, on-demand program and need an expert to analyze your issues, train the corrections, and help you implement the changes, so they stick

Learn More
Dr Alan Sokoloff 1

New Course Available!

This course explains the significant role chiropractic care can play in the sports industry and how a DC can succeed as a Sports Chiropractor. Start your steps to success here!

Learn More

There's no need to fear the OIG. We've got your back!

The most effective chiropractic OIG compliance programs are scaled according to the size of the practice!

Learn More

One of the most common questions we get is whether regular re-evaluations are “required” for justifying ongoing, medically necessary care.

Some say, “I heard that Medicare requires a re-evaluation every 30 days. Others have “heard” that their Blue Cross/Blue Shield payer requires them but doesn’t pay for them. There is a bit of “urban chiropractic legend” built into a smattering of facts, but it’s important to know the details and parameters.

According to the Clinical Compass, neck and lower back pain guidelines, also known as CCGPP (Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters), re-evaluations to determine a patient’s progress are required every 30 days. Likewise, if one is using Outcomes Assessment Tools (OATs) like the Oswestry or Functional Rating Index, they should be repeated every 30 days. From an auditor’s perspective, continued care beyond 30 days without a re-evaluation is considered medically unnecessary and will be denied.

What is Actually Required?

All of this has led to confusion about what is actually required. It is correct that OATs should be repeated and scored every 30 days and then used as one of the factors in the projection of additional needed care. There is no specific guideline in Medicare, for example, that says you will not be paid for any services beyond the 30-day mark in a treatment plan if there hasn’t been a formal re-evaluation. The context of the Chiropractic Manipulative Treatment (CMT) code that is charged on each routine visit includes a component of evaluation. Therefore, every visit should record progress toward the stated goals, and include subjective comments and objective measurements as part of the documentation. It’s up to the provider to ensure that the necessary documentation exists in the patient’s health record to tell the “story” of that patient’s active treatment plan. This is true whether there is a formal re-evaluation or not.

Benefits of Re-Evaluation

Timely use of the re-evaluation process is critical, however. There are many benefits to a formal re-evaluation process. Keep in mind a re-evaluation is coded with an Evaluation and Management code. That means it includes performing a re-history as well as a re-examination and reassessment of clinical decision making. Be sure you have a way to collect this updated history quickly and easily.

Some chiropractors elect to use the re-evaluation process as an educational opportunity. Some have a team member perform a pre-evaluation, gathering important data for the doctor to quantify in the re-exam. Others use the post-re-evaluation opportunity to deliver a re-report of findings to affirm the patient’s progress and what remains to reach maximum improvement.

Besides the compliance issue and patient education opportunity, periodic re-evaluations affirm each patient’s decision to consult your practice, inspiring them to complete your full recommendations and get the most from their chiropractic care.

If your re-evaluation process needs a tune-up, consider writing down your process, using this helpful outline to provide step-by-step guidance from scheduling through execution.

Scheduling Re-Evaluations:

(enter the process for scheduling here)

NOTE:  You might cross-reference to your scheduling SOP to outline how most re-evaluations will be inserted at the end of a block of scheduled visits, such as 3X/week for 4 weeks and then the re-evaluation will be scheduled.

Gathering Updated History at the Re-Evaluation:

(enter the process to be followed by both staff and doctor here)

NOTE: if you have the patient fill out updated history paperwork, include samples and a reference form with this SOP

Rooming the Patient for Re-Evaluations:

(enter the process for where these evaluations take place, what must be completed before rooming the patient, paperwork that is used, and other ways you ready the patient for the doctor)

Conducting the Re-Evaluation:

(enter the process here for collecting updated history and conducting the examination)

Updating the Medical Record After Re-Evaluation:

(enter the process here for how the provider will review the findings and update the diagnosis and treatment plan as necessary; if the patient is being discharged as a result of this re-evaluation you may want to cross-reference this SOP with your discharge SOP)

Be sure to include any additional steps of re-evaluation that are a part of your process. Once this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for re-evaluations is complete, train all the team members involved to make sure this important compliance process is implemented.

Dr. Colleen Auchenbach graduated with a Doctor of Chiropractic from Cleveland University Kansas City in December of 1998 and enjoyed practicing for over 20 years. Her interest in Medical Compliance began when she earned the 100-hour Insurance Consultant/Peer Review certification from Logan University in 2015. She has been a certified Medical Compliance Specialist-Physician since 2016 and a Certified Professional Medical Auditor since 2022. Dr. Auchenbach joined the excellent team at KMC University as a Specialist in 2020, and as a part of this dedicated team is determined to bring you accurate, current, and reliable information. You may reach her by email at or by calling (855) 832-6562.

Posted by Team KMCU on Jun 11, 2024

Comments on Reevaluations, Are We There Yet?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *