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Anesthesia Time Question

  1. #1
    Default Anesthesia Time Question
    Medical Coding Books
    Can someone please clarify when the actual time is calculated from?
    Is it from the time the anesthesiologist begins to prepare the patient to receive anesthesia or is it the minutes the anesthesia was actually administered?

  2. #2
    Anesthesia time begins when the anesthesia provider begins to prepare the patient for the induction of anesthesia in the operating room, procedure room or equivalent area. Due to the allowance of discontinuous time, time for block placement for regional anesthesia techniques and monitoring for retrobulbar block placement may also be included in the total case minutes. This time does NOT include time for the pre-anesthesia evaluation and generally does not include line time (although minutes for lines placed after induction do not need to be deducted as this should be an exception and not a usual occurrence).

    The ASA Relative Values Guide further defines anesthesia time.

    Hope this helps.

    Julie, CPC

  3. #3
    Julie, I really appreciate the information. Is the anesthesiologist reimbursed for pre-anesthesia evaluation with an E&M service in addition to anesthesia services?

  4. #4
    No, the pre-anesthesia evaluation is a component of and included in the base unit value of the anesthesia code. Now, that's not to say that it's never appropriate to bill an E&M for the pre-anesthesia evaluation.... in the instance of a case cancelled BEFORE induction, the anesthesia provider may bill an E&M or consult for the pre-anesthesia evaluation. This is appropriate because the anesthesia provider will not be billing an anesthesia charge because the case was cancelled. These E&M/consult charges must meet the CPT/CMS documentation requirements for those codes.

    Julie, CPC

  5. #5
    You have been extremely helpful in helping me understand the anesthesia guidelines and variables!! Thank you again for the input.

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