AHA Coding Clinic® for HCPCS - 2016 Issue 4; Ask the Editor

Multiple intubations

Patient with a gunshot wound had a King tube placed by paramedics and arrived in the emergency room (ER) as a code blue. However, the King tube, placed by paramedics, was removed and an 8.0 endotracheal tube was placed. After oxygen levels started to fall, the patient was moved causing dislodgement of the endotracheal tube. The physician removed the tube and re-intubated with a 7.5 endotracheal tube which was inserted. The patient’s treatment continued in the ER until his passing.  Our question is although a tube was placed prior to the ER encounter, two separate tubes for intubation were inserted in the ER. Can intubation be reported twice with CPT code 31500?     ...

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