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Pediatric Coding Alert

CPT® 2012:
Keep An Eye on the Clock Thanks to CPT®'s Observation Care Time Guidelines

Plus: New otoacoustic testing codes could benefit your hearing-impaired patients. When CPT® 2011 debuted the subsequent observation care codes 99224-99226, many coders were left scratching their heads at the fact that those new codes featured typical times associated with them, even though the initial observation care codes 99218-99220 didn't have typical times. The new edition of your CPT® manual, which takes effect on Jan. 1, will remedy that problem, with the addition of the following typical time guidelines: 99218 -- ...Physicians typically spend 30 minutes at the bedside and on the patient's hospital floor or unit 99219 -- ...Physicians typically spend 50 minutes at the bedside and on the patient's hospital floor or unit 99220 -- ...Physicians typically spend 70 minutes at the bedside and on the patient's hospital floor or unit The addition of typical times will open the door for coding based on time, consistent with the other codes in the [...]


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