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Otolaryngology Coding Alert

Reader Question:
Any Doctor Can Use ED Codes

Question: An emergency department (ED) physician asked our ENT to see a patient who has severe epistaxis (784.7). The ED doctor specifically requested that our doctor take responsibility for treatment of the patient, so I don't think this can count as a consult. I'm not sure, however, if I can report an ED visit for our ENT, who is not an ED physician. How should I report the visit? New York Subscriber Answer: A common misconception is that only ED physicians can report ED services (99281-99285, Emergency department visit for the E/M of a patient). In fact, any physician can report the ED codes if he provides a service in the ED. This does not mean, however, that an ED code is the only choice when a physician sees a patient in the ED. According to the Medicare Carriers Manual section 15507, primary-care physicians and specialists should report an ED [...]