Respiratory Question for the Week of June 24, 2024


For inhalation treatments, what defines an episode of care?


An episode of care begins when a patient arrives at a facility for treatment and terminates when the patient leaves the facility. Translated to an observation stay, where a patient is there for multiple days of service, this is still one episode of care. The clock does not re-start each calendar day, it is one continuous episode of care for the observation stay. For observation stays, the documentation of start and stop times for individual inhalation therapy treatments is very important in determining whether you can calculate and add enough minutes together to qualify for the use of continuous inhalation therapy CPT® codes to be billed for multiple, or back-to-back, treatments provided.

This question was answered in our Coding Essentials for RT/Pulmonary Function. For more hot topics relating to respiratory services, please visit our store or call us at 1.800.252.1578, ext. 2.

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