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Thread: Er length of stay

  1. #1

    Default Er length of stay

    AAPC: Back to School
    Hello to all...
    My name is Heidi and I code for a Radiological group. We are running into some question of whether or not some patients have actually been admitted to the hospital or not. Our confusion is based upon being admitted to the ER, or Critcal Care, or even Observation status. Is there a particular time frame in which they automatically become Hospital admits?
    Meaning, if someone is admitted to the ER and they are there for over 24 hours, do they automatically become a hospital inpatient? If anyone could direct me to any info regarding this in the CPT book, I would really appreciate it.

    Thank you for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    You can hold a patient in the ER to observe, and the patient is not admitted.

    You can admit a patient to observation, and they are still considered an outpatient.

    A patient is not "admitted" to the hospital until an order is written to admit to acute care.

    So if they are in obs, or held in the ER, they are still considered an outpatient.

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