Wiki Admit & Discharge dates vs Dates related to services


Wichita, KS
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I am needing an opinion on a coding/billing issue and hope you can help me. I was taught that when you bill for your services on a hospital patient you should put the admit date and discharge date in what is box 18 of the CMS 1500. Now I am being told that you should only reference the date(s) that you provided services.

For example: Patient arrives in ER and is admitted July 1. Admitting physician orders chest x-ray for suspect pneumonia on July 3. Radiologist reads x-ray July 4. Patient is discharged July 6th.

Traditionally I would enter these dates in box 18: July 1 and July 6. Now I am being told for the scenario it should be July 4 and July 4. (On either claim the date of service by the CPT code and charges would be July 4.)

Have you had any experience with this issue?

I have talked to Medicare and am curious to see what people working and or teaching in the field think about this.
I finally found my answer. If you are interested you can go to page 28, item 18