Many physicians do not report their observation or hospital discharge day services with the appropriate codes. Discharge day management should not be reported with subsequent-day hospital care codes because these codes (99231–99233, 99433) do not accurately reflect the actual services that are provided.

Hospital discharge services should be reported by the attending physician who provides discharge management services to a patient on a day separate from the initial hospital or observation day management. The discharge management codes (99217, 99238, 99239) are differentiated by the place of service (observation or inpatient hospital) and the extent of the services provided. These are global services; they include all evaluation and management (E/M) services provided during a calendar day. Any procedures performed on the same day of service should be reported separately. Discharge day management services do not require the performance of the E/M key components (history, physical examination, medical decision-making). However, the codes...

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