The American Academy of Pediatrics Coding Hotline has been getting quite a few questions about the date of discharge. Carriers have been denying discharge codes 99238–99239, saying that they should only be used for the discharge of patients who are sick or ill during their hospital stay.

This is not the case; codes 99238–99239 are the appropriate codes to report when any patient, including normal newborns, is discharged from the hospital on a date other than the initial date of hospital status. The following carrier letter was created to send to carriers who have misinterpreted the definition of the discharge codes.

Some carriers have been denying an evaluation and management (E/M) service when reported in addition to a nebulizer treatment (94640). They consider the E/M service to be bundled into 94640. This is inappropriate. The guidelines state that “if a separate identifiable [E/M] service is performed, the appropriate E/M...

You do not currently have access to this content.