If your practice hires an intensivist or cardiologist to manage the critically ill patients postoperatively, AND that physician has a different specialty than the operating surgeon, then, YES, you can bill separately for the services provided by that physician. BECAUSE .. that physician was not involved in the surgery and is of a different specialty than the operating surgeon. This is the same principle as a very large multi-specialty practice where you have CV surgeons and Cardiologists and Pulmonologists who may all have cared for a critically ill patient during one hospital stay and can all bill for their services; only the operating surgeon (and his/her colleagues in the same specialty, same practice) are covered by the global period.
If you hire another surgeon who is also certified as an intensivitis (for example), and that new physician is also assisting with surgery (and billed out as an assist), then NO postoperative care can be coded for either surgeon.
Hope that helps.
F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC
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