What code should be reported when inhalation drugs are administered to an inpatient in a continuous treatment or a series of “back-to-back” treatments exceeding one hour?


The following CPT® codes should be reported:

94644 Continuous inhalation treatment with aerosol medication for acute airway obstruction; first hour
94645 each additional hour (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)

Inpatient services are generally paid under a diagnosis-related prospective payment to the hospital and therefore are not billed separately to insurers or Medicare. However, hospitals will keep track of the number of procedures as an indication of productivity which can guide staffing requirements.

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This question was answered in the 2018 edition of our Coding Essentials for RT/Pulmonary Function. For more hot topics relating to respiratory therapy services, please view our store, or call us at 1.800.252.1578 ext. 2.


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CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.