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Neonatal Dilemma – Should You Have Separate Charges for Separate ...

Neonatal Dilemma – Should You Have Separate Charges for Separate ...

The smallest patients can present the largest and most confusing problems in medical billing. There can often be confusing scenarios that occur during neonatal procedures that many medical billings can find confusing. It could be due to the fact the patient is so tiny that many of the procedures seem related to split out but in many cases, claims for neonatal services are incorrectly bundled together.

A good case in point would be if a neonatal patient presented with a fever. The physician then did a urine catheterization (51701) and a spinal tap (62270) in the office. In many cases, the medical biller might have bundled these claims together but that would be incorrect as they are two distinctly different procedures even though they were performed at the same visit.

Also, a urine catheterization (51701, Insertion of non-indwelling bladder catheter [e.g., straight catheterization for residual urine]) and lumbar puncture (62270, Spinal puncture, lumbar, diagnostic);do not have edits placed on the code pair by NCCI so no modifier would be required for reporting this procedure. If you do use modifier 51, expect Medicare to reduce reimbursement by roughly 50%.

However, in all your neonatal claims, be sure to show ironclad documentation for the reason for the procedure as well detailing each procedure done to validate the fact they are being reported separately when possible.

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