CPT Code 99281 Description
CPT Code 99281 is defined by the CPT manual as follows (the text in Italic is the official definition of CPT 99281):
Use CPT 99281 (CPT G0380) for a visit to the emergency room to evaluate and treat a patient who requires these 3 key components:
- Component 1: A problem-oriented medical history
- Component 2: A problem-oriented investigation
- Component 3: Easy medical decision making
Counselling and / or coordination of care with separate providers or care agencies is done according to the nature of the issues and the requirements of the patient and / or family. Usually the problems that occur are self-limited or minor.
Billing & Coding Guidelines For CPT 99281
Medicare requirements are that the Modifier 25 is to be attached to the Emergency Department (ED) E / M Code (CPT 99281 – 99285) as long as it is provided on the same day as a medical or surgical diagnostic and / or medical or surgical therapeutic measure.
According to the CPT codes description, CPT 99281 – 99285 are for reporting assessment and management services in the emergency room. An emergency room is characterised as a hospital facility organised for the arrangement of episodic services that are not scheduled to patients presenting for immediate medical treatment. The facility must be accessible for 2 hours a day. By this description, the supplier is denied responsibility for CPT codes 99281 – 99285 as not compatible when shipped with a service location (POS) other than 23.
ED service is given to the patient by the patient’s own physician and the emergency physician. If the emergency physician, on the opinion of the patient’s own physician who went to the emergency room to examine the patient, discharges the patient, then the emergency physician must bill the necessary level of emergency service.
The patient’s own physician must also bill the ED CPT code level that defines the service given in the ED. If the patient’s own physician does not go to the hospital to examine them, but informs the emergency room physician on the phone, the patient’s own physician will not be able to bill.
If the emergency room physician requires another physician to evaluate a particular patient, the other physician must invoice an emergency room visit CPT code. If the patient is admitted to the hospital by the second evaluating physician, they must bill for an initial hospital care CPT code and not an emergency room visit code.
CPT Code 99281 Examples
Emergency department visit for a patient for removal of sutures from a well-healed, uncomplicated laceration.
Emergency department visit for patient for tetanus toxioid immunization.
Emergency department visit for a patient with several uncomplicated insect bites.