Coding Cues: Disrupted anesthesia services

February 1, 2008

Our group employs an anesthesiologist. Sometimes he'll perform the pre-anesthesia service in our ambulatory surgery center, only to have the surgery cancelled because of a particular medical reason. Can we get paid for his work?

Our group employs an anesthesiologist. Sometimes he'll perform the pre-anesthesia service in our ambulatory surgery center, only to have the surgery cancelled because of a particular medical reason. Can we get paid for his work?

It depends upon the patient's insurer. If he's a Medicare beneficiary, follow the carrier's guidelines regarding the process. You should be able to find them on their website. Some carriers suggest using a level of outpatient E&M that the documentation supports. Some will allow you to submit the unlisted E&M service code 99499 along with the pre-anesthesia evaluation worksheet. Most carriers will price the service based upon the documentation.