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Lab Error

Debra Posted Fri 21st of November, 2014 12:37:15 PM

A 20 year old came in with feeling of heart racing and palpitations previous to coming to ED. HR in triage was 74. Patient had taken a Tramadol and her heart felt like it was racing ever since that.
Basic labs and EKG were orders. Potassium came back at 2.9. Dr. ordered IV KCL. ED physician documented he suspected the low potassium was a lab error.

QUESTION: Since the physician ordered IV KCL and it was given in good intentions based on a lab result but then feels it was a lab error. Would it be appropriate to charge for the IV infusion since it was a lab error even though it was a service provided? Obviously, the hypopotassium would NOT be coded as it being a lab error that would have shown the medical necessity for the IV KCL.

Arethere any official coding guidelines addressing this issue?

Thanks,

SuperCoder Answered Tue 25th of November, 2014 02:40:18 AM

We researched and could not find any official guidelines. However, the payer is likely to deny this basis non conformation with medical necessity.

Thanks !!

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