Q: With regards to charging extended recovery time on a nursing unit, Medicare has indicated that we may only charge recovery time if the area has been designated as a recovery area. Can you give specific Medicare guidelines that indicate otherwise?

Ask The Expert, December 22, 2006

A: There is no regulation that we could find with this information. Revenue code 710 typically indicates the separate ancillary department where postanesthesia recovery services are rendered. We do not recommend using this revenue code for what is generally referred to as Phase II recovery on a nursing floor.

Revenue code 719 appears to be more appropriate for characterizing "other recovery services." Because this is only billed on outpatients, it is an appropriate method to report packaged services to Medicare. Refer to p. 65818 of the November 15, 2004, Federal Register, which states:

When a revenue code charge is billed without an HCPCS code, the charge is reduced to cost using the appropriate CCR for the revenue code . . . This allows costs associated with uncoded revenue code charges to be captured so we can make a more accurate payment for the claim. If we did not add the costs of the line item revenue code charges without HCPCS codes, the full cost data for all resources necessary to deliver a separately payable service might not be captured, possibly resulting in a lesser payment for the claim.