Corporate Compliance

Anesthesia audits require prior research, expertise

Health Care Auditing Strategies, April 1, 2009

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In fact, the government has prosecuted anesthesiologists for intentionally adding minutes of service they did not provide, says Joanne Mehmert, CPC, ACS-PM, CCC-PM, an independent consultant in Kansas City, MO. This could be because some physicians are not clear on the definition of anesthesia time.

“Anesthesiologists get paid when they are preparing the patient for administration of anesthesia in the OR or a holding room,” Mehmert says. “The usual pre- and postanesthesia visits should not be included in billed time. It sounds easy, but sometimes people interpret ‘prepare the patient’ differently.”

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