Do clinical templates have a place with the new F2F rule?

Date Published: May 05 2014

YES! The right electronic template provides a dynamic, time-efficient and cost effective solution to succeed at the highest level with the face-to-face (F2F) rule in effect since July 1, 2013.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) came out with guidance for the use of templates around the same time they announced the new F2F rule. Coincidence? Probably not. CMS recognizes that an electronic template, which is part of the electronic health records (EHR), is a good way to allow physicians to have a standard method of documenting a patient’s medical condition. “CMS encourages physicians who choose a template during the patient visit to select one that allows for a full and complete collection of information to demonstrate that the applicable coverage and coding criteria are met.” Medicare Program Integrity Manual (P.I.M.)

Practitioners are prolific technology adopters when it makes their job easier.An online algorithmic electronic template, like, is the best way to ensure a physician adequately addresses all the data points required during the F2F encounter. Most of the top reasons for durable medical equipment (DME) denials come from a F2F evaluation where a practitioner has not properly addressed a data point or question required by CMS. If practitioners do not know what CMS is looking for, it is very easy for them to skip over or omit specific information. ensures all required information is addressed and therefore takes guess work out of the process.

CMS wants to ensure medical necessity is documented for all items of DME. However, even a thorough, well-documented reimbursement claim can be found non-compliant if a single data point is missed. The most effective electronic template, one that has algorithms built into it that analyze and apply Medicare’s coverage criteria, address each required data point in every F2F encounter, resulting in compliant F2F documentation.

The new F2F rule does not have to mean more paperwork and time expended, it just means making sure physicians specifically document all the data points and questions CMS requires. Algorithmic electronic templates help accomplish this task.

- Michael Blakey, president of

Back to news

What people are saying

" is the perfect solution to time management and accurate documentation," James Smith, M.D.