Coding Consult

June 3, 2005

Infusions

But don't get used to the G codes. "CMS replaced the CPT codes for infusions done by physicians in the same year that it instructed hospitals to begin using 90780-81 CPT codes for infusions instead of the HCPCS Q codes. But be prepared for both the infusion G codes and CPT 90780-81 to be replaced with new CPT codes for infusions in 2006," says Laura Siniscalchi, manager in Deloitte & Touche's Health Care & Life Sciences Regulatory Services Practice in Boston.

G codes pay less Before Jan. 1, 2005, there were no CPT codes to describe concurrent or sequential nonchemo-therapy infusions that involve different drugs. The new G codes do that. G0345 and G0346 are to be reported for IV infusion for hydration; G0347 and G0348 are reported for other therapeutic or diagnostic infusions; G0349 is reported for additional sequential infusions; and G0350 is reported for a concurrent infusion.

How to use G codes Although learning how to report the new G codes may seem daunting, these examples can help:

Code G0345 replaces 90780 (intravenous infusion for therapy/diagnosis, administered by physician or under direct supervision of physician; up to one hour), and G0346 replaces 90781 (. . . each additional hour, up to eight hours [list separately in addition to code for primary procedure]).

Likewise, if you provide more than one hour of infusion therapy, you would report G0348 (. . . each additional hour, up to eight hours), not the hydration code G0346.

Previously, you'd have used 90781 when you provided a second drug sequentially, even though this code describes only the additional hour of infusion. 90780 was not accurately describing your service.