07/28/17 – Anesthesia pre-evaluation of a surgical patient

Question: If an anesthesiologist is waiting for the surgeon to arrive to start the procedure, can he/she bill for the extra time of waiting as part of the pre-evaluation?

Answer: No, this would be deemed to be part of the pre-evaluation and therefore would be bundled into the anesthesia base unit coding. The only time you would be able to bill for waiting time is if, for example, the anesthetic had already been administered with monitoring underway, and the anesthesiologist was required to wait for the surgeon due to a delay of some sort. In that case, you could establish the medical necessity of having an anesthesia provider remain with the patient.

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