First of all no one is "admitted" to the ED, you just wait your turn for treatment as long as it takes. I have heard of some very busy ED's having 24 hour wait times. As far as critical care and observation status the physician has to document this on the patient medical record. It is the physician's decision as to the status of the patient no one is ever "automatically" admitted. He may keep the patient in observation or critical care as long as he feels necessary, there are codes in the CPT for every stage of this care. I hope this helps. I am an emergency room coder if you have any more questions you may email privately.
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