Question: A doctor who is not associated with our practice intubated a patient. Five days later, an anesthesia provider from our practice removed the endotracheal tube. How do we code for our service?
Answer: There is no code for the removal of the endotracheal tube. Payment for the removal is included in code 31500 (intubation, endotracheal, emergency procedure.) If your work and documentation supports it, you may be able to report an E/M service such as a subsequent hospital care code (99231 – 99233). Another option would be 31599 (unlisted procedure, larynx). However, you will need to submit detailed documentation to support the claim. The payer may be reluctant to cover the service because the payment for removing the tube is included in 31500.