The 99233 Initial Inpatient visit has a 'typically spend 70 minutes" time allowance so in order to be able to determine prolonged service for an inpatient service (99356), a total time of the initial encounter and the second encounter on the same date of service would have to total at least 110 minutes. ( 70 min + at least 30-60 min). Without the total time of both visits being documented, there isn't anything you can base the additional prolonged service code. Be sure to educate your physician on the importance of documenting time. Refer to the coding guidelines at the beginning of the prolonged service codes for additional details on the use of these codes.
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