Respiratory Question for the Week of September 17, 2018


The answer to the August 20, 2018 Respiratory Compliance Question of the Week mentions that oxygen must be billed as a “measureable” unit. Could you please explain in additional detail whether it would be acceptable to consider measurable as a per-day charge?


We recommend billing for oxygen in measurable units such as per liter, per hour, per quarter hour, or per minute. Generally, the physician order in the medical record includes the O2 flow rate, estimated frequency, and/or duration of use. We use the term measurable to indicate the amount of oxygen delivered to a patient for a specified amount of time. For example, the nursing documentation in the medical record shows the patient received oxygen @ 2L/minute via nasal cannula over a period of 12 hours. The amount of oxygen used by the patient can be calculated from this nursing documentation. This documentation will support the measurable units in use by the hospital for billing purposes.

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