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Thread: Subsequent observations

  1. #1

    Question Subsequent observations

    AAPC: Back to School
    Can anyone clarify on subsequent care codes for observation. If the documentation requirements fo an admit code or observation code are not met then a subsequent observation code may be used in it's place ?? Is this correct. I feel as though I have received incorrect advice on this. From what I can tell subsequent observation codes may only be used on the second day of observation and may not be used on the initial date of admit to observation. Thank You

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Kansas City, MO


    I can't find anything specific to observation care, but our medicare carrier has said that if the documentation for an initial inpatient visit (admit) doesn't meet requirements, then it is ok to bill a subsequent inpatient visit.

    I am guessing the same logic would apply to the observation scenario.

    They do say this should be a rare thing though....the doctor should be documenting properly for the admits

    Hopefully someone will come through with something more concrete.
    Linda Vargas, CPC, CPCO, CPMA, CPC-I, CEMC
    PMCC Licensed Instructor
    Kansas City, MO Chapter
    Member Development Officer 2016
    Harrisonville, MO Chapter President - 2013
    ICD-10 Education Coordinator- 2012
    Chapter President - 2011
    President Elect - 2010

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