tci ED Coding & Reimbursement Alert - 2002 Issue 7

Reader Question: Abdominal Ultrasound

Question: Our ED physician performed a limited abdominal ultrasound on a patient who complained of severe pain. The patient had surgery to remove gallstones six months prior. The ultrasound uncovered more gallstones, and the patient was admitted to the hospital for surgery to remove them. Which codes should I use to report this visit? Indiana SubscriberAnswer: Emergency department coders should always report the appropriate signs and symptoms code as recorded by the ED physician that prompted the procedure. The patient's history of gallstone removal should be noted in the history portion of the ED E/M documentation. The examination probably...

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