HELP! If a patient is in ICU and is on a Vent..often due to respritory failure. He is now stable on the vent but not able to be weaned off the vent yet..The hospitalist does docuemnt time etc... for the Critical Care. Would this qualify for critical care

I have had different opinions on this and I know the guidlines but I would like some more insite on this.

One coder told me that if pt is on a vent; think of it as "if pt was taken off vent they would go in to organ failure and die" The vent is making them stable and if taken off vent they could/would die so Critical care is oppropriate.

Another said, if pt is stable on the vent , he is not IE: crashing,stats are normal etc. The doctor checkings everything and even though the pt is on a vent he is stable on vent so they do not consider this critical care.

The Vent is making the patient stable, this is where I get confused if this is truely critical care or not??

I would love some more insite on this...I know the guidelines but this ICU billing is new to me and I know there is long term vent care but that is not what this is..Patients are brought into the ICU for being critical/unstable...

SO what I am wondering if being on a vent stable or unstable does this make the guidlines for critical care billing

Any information would be very appreciated!

Thanks so much~ ps I have reposted this under couple different headings..