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Thread: Hospital Short Stay

  1. #1

    Question Hospital Short Stay

    AAPC: Back to School
    Hi everyone! I am a coder/biller for a family doctor who see his patients in the hospital. When he gives me the info to bill out the hospital visits, sometimes he will say " seen pt one time, short stay". Usually it is the date that the pt is discharged from the hospital (i.e admit 10/7, discharge 10/8), so I bill it as a discharge 99217 or 99238 (depending on inpt or obvs). Is this correct way to bill? I just want to make sure I am not doing this wrong.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Hi Miranda:
    If the pt was discharged from an observation or an inpt status (some facilities do not have accomodations to designate an area called "observation") of less than 24 hours and has not been fromerly admitted to the hospital, then the 99217 is appropriate. If a physician has admitted the pt then discharges and meets the requirements for 99234-99236 then bill that E&M.
    99238 is used if the pt has been formerly admitted and is discharged on a different day (but an admit code needs to be submitted to be able to utilize this code)
    Kiana CPC, CPC-H, BCS-M, BCS-R

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Milwaukee WI

    Default 99234-36

    The physician is providing only one visit to cover both admission and discharge - this service is done all on one day ... so I'd code 99234-36.

    Now if the documentation doesn't support that, you might be stuck with 99217 or 99238 (depending on whether patient was observation status, or inpatient).

    Even if the doctor never bills an admission, he can still code the discharge.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CPC-E/M

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