Question initial inpatient vs subsequent inpatient

NEOSM507

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I need help understanding the proper use of inpatient evaluation and management codes. Are initial inpatient codes (99221-99223) for the initial evaluation of a problem and subsequent codes (99231-99233) for follow up visits for the same problem?
For example:
patient is inpatient, and seen by an ortho for cellulitis on Oct 1. We bill 99221
patient is seen Oct 2 follow up by same ortho Oct 2. We bill 99231

same patient is back in the hospital inpatient, and ortho sees them for lumbar sprain on Nov 1. Does the ortho bill an initial inpatient code because its a new problem? Or do they report a subsequent code because they're an existing patient and it hasn't been 3 years since they were seen.

I hope that made sense.

Thank you!
 

cgaston

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The initial inpatient code is used once per the entire hospital stay. If this new problem occurred during the same inpatient admission you would select codes from the 9923X series.

If the patient was discharged and this new problem causes them to be admitted for a new inpatient stay you can select codes from the 9922X series for your first encounter.
 
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