Question:

We placed a patient in observation and the next day the physician admitted him as an inpatient. Can we code for drug administration services for the time the patient was in observation status?

Answer:

Yes. While all the outpatient charges will be rolled up into the inpatient claim, it is appropriate to code the drug administration services during the time the patient was a registered “outpatient.” Make sure the date of the charges is consistent with the outpatient status; any infusions still running at the time of the physician order to admit as inpatient may be coded up until the time of the order.

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