Is this Case Inpatient or Outpatient?

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A patient is admitted to the hospital with shortness of breath and congestive heart failure. The patient subsequently develops respiratory failure. The patient undergoes intubation with ventilator management.

This is just an example of a case that doesn't mention that it is inpatient. This case is somewhat easy to tell that it is an inpatient case, but from my understanding, if the patient is released from the hospital within 24 hours then it would be considered outpatient. This case doesn't state anything like that as well as many other cases on the exam.

Therefore, how can a coder tell if the case is considered inpatient or outpatient in the more difficult cases?


True Blue
Columbia, MO
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An inpatient admission can be less than 24 hours. In most cases it is dependent on whether the patient meets inpatient criteria. It takes a physician order to determine inpatient or outpatient status. If an admission is less than 24 hours, the facility UR person can review the case and request the provider to write an order to convert the stay to outpatient.