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Inpatient Medical Billing Consultant Choices Diminish in 2006

Inpatient Medical Billing Consultant Choices Diminish in 2006

For a long time there has been a confusion about when to use inpatient follow-up consultation codes. In 2006, this will no longer be an issue, there will only be one type of inpatient consultation service: initial and subsequent. Follow up inpatient consultation codes will no longer be used in medical billing.

The previous method when doing medical billing for inpatient follow up consultation codes was to use 99261-99263 (Follow-up inpatient consultation for an established patient). Unfortunately, physicians and medical billing staff members found it difficult to decide if the care was initial or a follow-up. Those CPT codes were constantly claimed incorrectly.

In an effort to increase coding efficiency and decrease confusion, you will only need one set of codes when billing for inpatient consultation codes. All inpatient consultation codes should be represented with the medical billing current procedural terminology codes 99251-99255 (Initial inpatient consultation for a new or established patient).

If you happen to do any follow up care with the same patient, do not use a consultation code in medical billing. Use the medical billing CPT codes 99231-99233 (Subsequent hospital care, per day, for the evaluation and management of a patient). These subsequent codes make medical billing much simpler than the old follow-up codes.

Not only will this change to medical billing make your job a lot easier, but it also will help your bank account. On average, subsequent care codes will reimburse at about a $10 higher rate than follow-up consult medical billing codes. This is a great incentive to learn the new system.

Inpatient consultation coding may not be the most cut and dry area, but with the 2006 changes, things are getting much better. Your medical billing staff members will welcome the new inpatient consultation coding changes.

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