Procedural Sedation Documentation Pearls
Our ER notes need to clearly document the sedation time. Referring to RN notes is not adequete as it is difficult for coders to follow the flow sheet accurately.
For a Procedural Sedation to be billable, "intraservice" sedation time documented needs to be at least 16 minutes.
"Moderate sedation is a time based code. Because the Moderate Sedation codes indicate a unit of time of 30 minutes, the ED chart must indicate 16 minutes or more of intraservice time to report Moderate Sedation. If the time threshold has not been met, then the code is not reportable." - Oct 2011 CPT Assistant
Units of time billable for procedural sedation are:
Per CPT, a unit of time is attained when the midpoint has been passed.
Initial 30 minutes (must document at least 16 minutes to get reimbursed)
Each addition 15 minutes can be billed.
Must document at least 37.5 minutes for up to 45 minutes [30 min unit + one 15 min unit];
Must document at least 52.5 minutes for up to 60 minutes [30 min unit + two 15 min units], etc...
Intraservice time is defined as:
Starts with the administration of the sedation agent(s)
Requires continuous face-to-face attendance
Ends at the conclusion of personal contact by the physician providing the sedation.
Documentation should include the name of the procedure, medication names, dosages and routes of administration, who administered the medication(s) (physician or observer), notations of ongoing assessments and vital signs monitoring during moderate sedation. Using the Procedural Sedation sentence in PowerNote includes all of these elements.
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Department of Emergency Medicine
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1000 Blythe Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28203