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Discharge Code for day of death? - patient and pronounce

  1. #1
    Question Discharge Code for day of death? - patient and pronounce
    Exam Training Packages
    How would you code an inpatient stay for a patient on their day of death. One of my doctors saw the patient and pronounce them dead and spoke to the family afterwards. Can you use a discharge code?

    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain."

  2. #2
    Seacoast-Dover NH
    Hi Randi I do Hospitalist coding. We charge either 99238 or 99239 ( time must be documented) as a discharge for all paperwork and counseling involved. Only one MD can charge this code. Medicare has information regarding this in their E&M guide.
    Lori-Hampton NH

  3. #3
    For CMS, the physician has to personally make the death pronouncement face-to-face before billing for a discharge. Below is a link to our Part B carrier's summary of this.


  4. #4
    Urbana, IL
    This is also noted in the Principles of CPT 4th addition on Page 61 and 5th addition on page 66. You would chose the 99238 or 99239 depending on time spend as relayed by the ladies above. The Principles can be googled on-line if the books are not available to you. Peace and Many Blessings! -D
    Dawn Peterson
    Coding Consultant/Billing and Coding Instructor
    Illinois, USA

  5. #5
    North Carolina
    Hospital Discharge Management and Death Pronouncement Only the physician who personally performs the pronouncement of death shall bill for the face-to-face Hospital Discharge Day Management Service, CPT code 99238 or 99239. The date of the pronouncement shall reflect the calendar date of service on the day it was performed even if the paperwork is delayed to a subsequent date. E

  6. #6
    Las Vegas, NV
    Thumbs down USe can 99238 or 99239- make sure you use 2008 or 2009 CPT books
    Quote Originally Posted by randi haight View Post
    How would you code an inpatient stay for a patient on their day of death. One of my doctors saw the patient and pronounce them dead and spoke to the family afterwards. Can you use a discharge code?

    Depending on the dates of service, make sure if pt expired after after 10/1/2008 use the new 2009 books for proper reimbursement and if before 10/1/2009 u use the 2008 CPT/ICD-9 coding books. This will affect the coding and reimbursement if proper coding books is not use as well.

  7. Default
    cinnamon, please check your information. ICD9 code changes are effective Oct. 1, but CPT codes don't take effect until Jan. 1 of each year.

  8. Default
    What if the Resident does the Pronouncement and the Attnding is on campus but bot having face to face contact, does this mean the Death Pronouncement cannot be billed at all?

  9. Default Paperwork involved with death discharge
    What paperwork is necessary for the doctor to bill the discharge for the pronouncing? I have an ER doctor that came up (patient was in a swing bed after being inpatient for surgery) and pronounced the the ER doctor can bill the discharge? The surgeon signed the death certificate with the dx for death...I am all confused. I believe I can bill the ER doctor for the discharge or a subsquent visit?

  10. Default How to bill for death at home
    What if the MD went to the patient home to do the death pronouncement. Has anyone billed for this? Would I use CPT 99339? Thanks!

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