According to CPT 2008 Professional edition guidelines page 16 under inpatient consultations:
"Only one consultation should be reported by a consultant per admission. Subsequent services during the same admission are reported using Subsequent hospital care codes (99231-99233 or subsequent nursing facility care codes (99307-99310), including services to complete the initial consultation, monitor progress, revise recommendations, or address a new problem."
We recently ran into this same issue with a patient who was in hospital and discharged, readmitted a week later with the same principal diagnosis and the second consultation for pulmonary was denied as in the same hospital stay. Medicare indicates a 60 day span between hospital visits or its counted as the same stay. So, our second consultation (even though it's indicated as necessary and all protocol was followed and was in a separate hospital visit) will not be paid so should be billed as subsequent.
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