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Thread: hospital discharge

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Grand Canyon Coders

    Question hospital discharge

    AAPC: Back to School
    Does Medicare not pay for hospital discharge e/m even if no other service provided that day and there are no global days from the procedure? What about subsequent e/m? Can you direct me to guidelines other than cpt book?

    Thanks so much.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    East Stroudsburg, PA


    On the Medicare website there is a tab for the E&M center on the part B page. There you will find information on discharge and other E&M codes. Below is the information they have posted on discharges:

    Hospital Discharge Day Management Codes 99238 and 99239

    February 21, 2008

    Hospital discharge day management codes 99238 (30 minutes or less) and 99239 (more than 30 minutes) are to be used to report the total duration of time spent by a physician for final hospital discharge of a patient. These codes include (as appropriate): final examination of the patient; discussion of the hospital stay (even if the time spent by the physician on that date is not continuous); instructions for continuing care to all relevant caregivers; and preparation of discharge records, prescriptions and referral forms.
    When reporting procedure codes 99238 or 99239, the medical record documentation should specify the amount of time involved in completing the patient’s hospital discharge day management. If a physician bills the higher level of discharge day management, procedure code 99239, the total time spent rendering this service must be documented in the patient’s medical record indicating more than 30 minutes. If procedure code 99239 is billed and no time is documented in the patient’s medical record, Highmark Medicare Services may reduce the service to the lower level of care, procedure code 99238.

    Here is the link to the E&M page on the medicare website:


    I hope this helps!
    ~Rebecca, CPC, COSC, CPC-I

    "To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world" ~Anonymous

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