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Encounter Information

Data Element

Additional Information

Encounter Type
An identifiable grouping of healthcare-related activities characterized by the entity relationship between the subject of care and a healthcare provider. This data element specifies the classification of encounter that has occurred for a patient, for example an inpatient admission, an observation stay, or an office visit and the specific type of encounter such as a follow-up visit, or encounter for a procedure.

Comment

ONC should define the…

ONC should define the terminology standard and value set of allowed concepts to which this data element is bound. Without it, this data element will result in differing interpretations. Also, ONC must clarify how it characterizes encounter types: by care settings; what was done; how long it lasted, etc. Other questions include:
  • Does encounter type include a telehealth encounter, when both the patient and the clinician are in their respective homes/ offices?
  • Will audio-only interactions be included?
  • Many physical therapist visits with patients occur in the skilled nursing facility, assisted living facility, patient’s home, school, emergency department, and other settings. Is encounter type, as currently defined, broad enough to encompass these situations?
  • How will a consulting visit be identified?
  • How would tests such as Functional Capacity Evaluations be classified, or would such test be considered an office visit? 
  • How is preventive care/wellness denoted?

Response to Comment on Encounter Type

ONC should define the terminology standard and value set of allowed concepts to which this data element is bound. Without it, this data element will result in differing interpretations. Also, ONC must clarify how it characterizes encounter types: by care settings; what was done; how long it lasted, etc. Other questions include: Does encounter type include a telehealth encounter, when both the patient and the clinician are in their respective homes/ offices? Will audio-only interactions be included? Many physical therapist visits with patients occur in the skilled nursing facility, assisted living facility, patient’s home, school, emergency department, and other settings. Is encounter type, as currently defined, broad enough to encompass these situations? How will a consulting visit be identified? How would tests such as Functional Capacity Evaluations be classified, or would such test be considered an office visit?  How is preventive care/wellness denoted? CMS supports associating terminology standards with this data element. In our submission, we note the following standards often used to represent Encounter Type: SNOMED CT, HCPCS, CPT. Note that Implementation Guides (i.e. FHIR US Core) also provides additional context around this data element.   

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