The physician cannot evaluate the airways from the examination alone, so he performs pulse oximetry and uses a spirometer to measure pulmonary function. He administers a bronchodilator to the patient, followed by another pulse oximetry measurement and spirometry. He then compares the before and after readings to assess the bronchodilator's success. The patient continues to exhibit respiratory symptoms, so the FP administers a second bronchodilation followed by spirometry. The pulmonary reading shows that the patient's symptoms are subsiding. The doctor prescribes an inhaler and a spacer for the individual. Anurse demonstrates how to use the inhaler.
The physician and nurse perform seven procedures:
1. pulse oximetry x 2
2. spirometry before and after bronchodilation x 2
3. bronchodilation x 2
and two services:
1. established patient office visit
2. emergency service. Bill Private Payers for Pulse Oximetry Coverage for pulse oximetry (e.g., 94760, Noninvasive ear or pulse oximetry for oxygen saturation; single determination) depends on the payer. Medicare announced in January 2000 that it would no longer cover 94760 unless it is the only procedure provided. This means that if you bill any other code on that day, you cannot bill pulse oximetry as well because Medicare has bundled the oximetry codes into every other CPT code. If you perform pulse oximetry and nothing else, that is the only time you can bill and get paid for this procedure.
Carriers view pulse oximetry as similar to taking a patient's temperature. "Pulse oximetry is no more invasive and arguably less invasive than recording the patient's temperature, another example of a diagnostic service for which we do not make [...]