• Billing when not the attending physician

    One of our physicians was called in to check a patient while she was in observation care. We are not the attending physician. How do we bill for this as an ophthalmologist?

    From CMS: 30.6.8 - Payment for Hospital Observation Services and Observation or Inpatient Care Services (Including Admission and Discharge Services) (Rev. 2282, Issued: 08-26-11, Effective: 01-01-11, Implementation: 11-28-11)  For a physician to bill observation care codes, there must be a medical observation record for the patient that contains dated and timed physician’s orders regarding the observation services the patient is to receive, nursing notes, and progress notes prepared by the physician while the patient received observation services. This record must be in addition to any record prepared as a result of an emergency department or outpatient clinic encounter. Payment for an initial observation care code is for all the care rendered by the ordering physician on the date the patient’s observation services began. All other physicians who furnish consultations or additional evaluations or services while the patient is receiving hospital outpatient observation services must bill the appropriate outpatient service codes. For example, if an internist orders observation services and asks another physician to additionally evaluate the patient, only the internist may bill the initial and subsequent observation care codes. The other physician who evaluates the patient must bill the new or established office or other outpatient visit codes as appropriate.