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Thread: Et/emerg anesthesia

  1. #1

    Default Et/emerg anesthesia

    AAPC: Back to School
    We are a CAH hospital and are trying to determine the best way to bill out for when a crna comes to the ER and does an emergency intubation? Is it correct to use base units. The cpt code is 31500. But how do we properly capture this for the crna.

    Second when our crnas are called in for an emergency procedure and has to provide anesthesia. Is it best to use the 99140 or wrap it into an OR level.

    Any suggestions or resources for the emergency intubation or emergency anesthesia please

  2. #2


    I posted this awhile back but did not get any responses back. We are still trying to determine the best way to charge for an emergency intubation when done by one of our CRNAs. Does anyone have any suggestions please?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Newport, VT


    A CRNA can bill for 31500 (6 base units) according to 2012 RVU guide page 42.
    The CRNA needs to document a note on the patient's chart about the intubation.

    99140-will only be recognized if there is a documented threat to life or limb.
    Just because a patient comes to the Operating Room from the Emergency Room does not constitute use of 99140.

    Examples of threat to life or limb:
    open fracture
    non-reassuring fetal monitor
    acute abdomen-perforated viscus

    Examples of urgent cases not subject to 99140:
    fractured hip
    failure to progress-OB

  4. #4


    thank you so much.

  5. #5


    one more question if you can answer this would we use the QZ modifier on the 31500

  6. #6


    could anyone help me with what REV code to use for the 31500 in the E.D. please?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Tyler TX


    If the CRNA performed the intubation, then you bill with the code 31500, no QZ modifier, no time. Because you are billing a surgical code, not an anesthesia code.
    If the CRNA just sedates the patient so another provider could perform the intubation, then you use an anesthesia code. Keeping in mind, intubation is an integral part of general anesthesia.

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