Medical Billing Forum

Billing => Billing => Topic started by: Chipper on February 27, 2009, 06:41:22 PM

Title: Anesthesia Charges
Post by: Chipper on February 27, 2009, 06:41:22 PM
I have a question about Anesthesia charges.  I will give you the scenerio.

Anesthesiologist takes patient A back to OR. Sedates them for surgery. Stays with the patient for about 10 minutes then leaves patient A to go to pre-op to put in an axillary block for patient B. Goes back to OR to finish up patient A and charges patient for all of the time even though he left patient for 15 minutes. Appears to me that this is fraud because he charged patient for time that he was not monitoring the patient.  Any one have any advice????
Title: Re: Anesthesia Charges
Post by: Michele on February 28, 2009, 10:02:32 PM
  I'm not that familiar with the administering of anesthesia but my first concern isn't fraud, it is the well being of the person that is sedated but not being monitored.  What if something goes wrong and nobody is in the room? 

  Putting those thoughts aside and using strictly my technical side, technically the patient is under anesthesia so even if he is not in the room, the patient is under anesthesia.  However, even as I'm typing that I'm thinking "BUT WHAT IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG WITH THE PATIENT THAT WAS LEFT ALONE, EVEN FOR ONLY 10 MINUTES".  Sorry, maybe that happens in the real world, but I like my personally little happy bubble, where a patient wouldn't be left alone while under anesthesia.

   Maybe another forum member has some experience with this as well and can shed some light on this!

Title: Re: Anesthesia Charges
Post by: cpoppens on March 13, 2009, 05:40:23 PM
It's not fraud.  The anesthesiologist could have left the first patient to be monitored by an RN, Anes. Assistant or CRNA, or even the attending surgeon, while they went off and did the block.  Rest assured the patient is being monitored by someone that is qualified. 
Title: Re: Anesthesia Charges
Post by: Michele on March 13, 2009, 06:38:30 PM
The way it is worded in the post doesn't indicate anyone is monitoring the patient, that is why I was concerned.  If a qualified person is monitoring the patient then it certainly wouldn't be fraudulent to bill for that time, even though the anesthesiologist left the room since they would still be overseeing the care.  I.E. if there was a problem, the person monitoring the patient would alert them.

Title: Re: Anesthesia Charges
Post by: llf on March 24, 2009, 01:26:51 PM
Currently, I work in OR's. This happens all too often. You are right, the patient is still being monitored and is
under the care of the Surgeon. It is generally not as bad as it sounds. However, it only takes one event for
a MAJOR problem.