Addition of subsequent observation care codes 99224-99226 by CPT® 2011 left many coders perplexed. These new codes featured typical times associated, even though the initial observation care codes 99218-99220 don’t have typical times.
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CPT® 2012 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 exact reasons for the CPT® committee’s inclusion of these codes won’t be clear until the AMA’s November CPT® Symposium, but it seems that the addition of typical times could...
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