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Thread: observation codes

  1. #1

    Default observation codes

    AAPC: Back to School
    My office is in a discussion on whether to use 99217 with codes 99218-99220 on a patient admitted to observation and discharged on a different date.
    CCI edits are saying....99217 cannot be billed with the 99218-99220 codes..however, if you read Medicare newsletters, MLN..they say yes 99217 can be billed with 99218-99220..

    How are other coders billing these codes?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Seacoast- Dover New Hampshire


    We use 99217 for the Observation discharge on a different day. The 99218-99220 is for the first day. To admit and discharge on the same day We use 99234-99236. Hope this helps
    Karen Barron, CPC
    Hampton New Hampshire Chapter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    North Carolina


    When a patient is admitted for observation care for less than 8 hours on the same calendar date, the Initial Observation Care, from CPT code range 99218 – 99220, shall be reported by the physician. The Observation Care Discharge Service, CPT code 99217, shall not be reported for this scenario.

    When a patient is admitted for observation care and then discharged on a different calendar date, the physician shall report Initial Observation Care, from CPT code range 99218 – 99220 and CPT observation care discharge CPT code 99217.

    I imagine the edit you are referring to is for the same day scenario.



  4. #4


    Thank you for you reply...I do exactly what you are doing; however, my supervisor is saying that we cannot use the 99217. I just wanted to get some input from other coders. Thanks

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