The June 2009 AAP Pediatric Coding Newsletter™ (Vol 4, No. 9) included an article entitled “Hospital Discharge Day Management.” The last portion of the article addressed reporting Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes 99234–99236 for same-day observation and inpatient admission and discharge services. After review and additional clarification from the American Medical Association, we concluded that clarification for reporting codes for sameday observation or inpatient admission and discharge services was warranted.

To understand the appropriate reporting of codes 99234–99236, we need to first review the guidelines for the following codes:

Codes 99234–99236 require that 2 distinct face-to-face services be performed for the initial E/M encounter and the discharge management by the same physician on the same calendar date and must coincide with the same date that the patient is admitted as an inpatient or placed in observation status. Otherwise, only the discharge management services (ie, code 99217, 99238, or...

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