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Templates: Don't let templates scare you

Templates: Don't let templates scare you Q. Are templates viable today?

A. I thought the question regarding the use of templates for physician documentation was put to bed long ago. However, it seems I was wrong.

In fact, the use of templates has not only been authorized by CMS, it has also cleared legal review by multiple national law firms.

For now, let's review the guidance by CMS that clearly delineates the use of templates for power mobility devices.

One can refer to Appendix F: Progress Notes and Forms (Definition and guidelines about tools/interfaces that assisting documenting progress note). A “Progress Note Template” is a tool/instrument/interface that assists physicians or treating practitioners in documenting a progress note. CMS does not prohibit the use of templates to facilitate record keeping.   

CMS also classifies “Supplemental Forms” as tools developed to collect information in paper or electronic format that is used or sent to a physician/practitioner to collect medical record supporting documentation. 

CMS does want the physician/treating practitioner to utilize a system that is open ended and allows for full and complete demonstration of the patient's need for the item/service.

Furthermore, the system cannot force patient qualification or guarantee that the patient will qualify for the PMD prescribed. It can only act as documentation that applies to the need for the particular mobility equipment.

Therefore, an open-ended comprehensive adjunct or integrated electronic system that assists the physician/treating practitioner in documenting the need for power mobility devices is considered acceptable by CMS.

Reid Bellis is director of marketing & media relations for PMDRX. He can be reached at


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