Pediatric 99239 (Hospital Discharge Day) Usage

I just realized that today’s post represents a milestone: 200 entries! Who knew? I started this blog as a lark and it’s gotten to the point that if I don’t write something every 3 days, I get backed up with too much important information. According to my blog stats, I get just under 2000 unique visitors every month (obviously many more visits than that, total, as most of you come quite often) with dozens of new people every day.

I really appreciate the comments and feedback I get – nearly everything I share comes at someone’s request (see below). Please keep them coming. Enough about that.

At our Users’ Conference a few weeks ago, Donelle Holle asked our audience about their 99239 usage. You know, the Hospital Discharge Day (>30 Minutes). And if Donelle Holle asks about it, we should listen. Apparently, most of you use the 99238 code when, in fact, you spend more than 30m related to that patient on the discharge day. So Igor dutifully checked and came back with some interesting data. Since 2003, our clients have performed approximately the same number of 99239s every year…given that our customer base has grown during that time, the implication is that the same small number of practices are using the code. Probably very little new adoption.

We learned that the 99239 pays about 20-30% more than the 99238 (which makes sense) and that the 99238 gets used about 10-20x more often than the 99239. Are your discharge days <30m 20x more often than they are over 30m? Perhaps so, but Donelle’s hunch that providers may not be aware of the 99239 looks may be correct.

For some reading about the 99239 CPT, this provides a good summary (click through the license bit).

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