Global Anesthesia Definition
The Agency has identified certain procedures to be included in the global payment for the anesthesia services. These procedures include but are not limited to the following: general anesthesia, regional anesthesia, local anesthesia, supplementation of local anesthesia, and other supportive treatment administered to maintain optimal anesthesia care deemed necessary by the anesthesiologist during the procedure.
Anesthesia services include:
• All customary preoperative and postoperative visits,
• Local anesthesia during surgery,
• The anesthesia care during the procedure,
• The administration of any fluids deemed necessary by the attending physician, and any usual monitory procedures
Interpretation of non-invasive monitoring to include EKG, temperature, blood pressure, pulse, breathing, electroencephalogram and other neurological monitoring, Monitoring of left ventricular or valve function via transesophageal echocardiogram, Maintenance of open airway and ventilatory measurements and monitoring, Oximetry, capnography and mass spectrometry.
Monitoring all fluids used during cold cardioplegia through non-invasive means. Additional claims for such services should not be submitted.
Placement of lines such as arterial catheterizations and insertion and placement of pulmonary artery catheters (e.g., Swan-Ganz) for monitoring will no longer be included in the global anesthesia reimbursement when billed with other procedures but will be allowed to be billed using the same guidelines outlined in this chapter under “Special Situations for Anesthesia”. The time of placement of invasive monitors and who placed them should be documented in the medical record. Verification of anesthesia time units may be subject to post-payment audits. Billing for anesthesia time while placing invasive monitors is not allowed unless the patient required general anesthesia for placement.
The time anesthesia starts is at the beginning of induction via the injection or inhalation of an anesthetic drug or gas and ends at the time the recipient is transferred to the recovery room or post anesthesia care unit (PACU). Induction is defined as the time interval between the initial injection or inhalation of an anesthetic drug or gas until the optimum level of anesthesia is reached. The recipient must be prepared by the anesthesiologist prior to induction and must be assessed by the anesthesiologist immediately after the surgical procedure. Up to 15 minutes are allowed for the preparation of anesthesia, and up to 15 minutes are allowed after the operation (for transfer of the recipient to the receiving room, recovery room, or PACU). It is inappropriate to bill for anesthesia time while the patient is receiving blood products or antibiotics in the holding area or waiting in a holding area, or waiting in the operating room more than 15 minutes prior to induction.
Local anesthesia is usually administered by the attending surgeon and is considered to be part of the surgical procedure being performed. Additional claims for local anesthesia by the surgeon should not be filed. Any local anesthesia administered by an attending obstetrician during delivery (i.e., pudendal block or paracervical block) is considered part of the obstetrical coverage. Additional claims for local anesthesia administered by an attending obstetrician during delivery should not be filed.
When regional anesthesia (i.e., nerve block) is administered by the attending physician during a procedure, the physicians fee for administration of the anesthesia is billed at one-half the established rate for a comparable service when performed by an anesthesiologist. When regional anesthesia is administered by the attending obstetrician during delivery (i.e., saddle block or continuous caudal), the obstetrician’s fee for administration of the anesthesia will be billed at one-half the established rate for a comparable service performed by an anesthesiologist. When regional anesthesia is administered by an anesthesiologist during delivery or other procedure, the anesthesiologist’s fee will be covered and should be billed separately.
When a medical procedure is a non-covered service under the Alabama Medicaid Program, the anesthesia for that procedure is also considered to be a non-covered service.
A primary anesthesia procedure is included in the procedure code range of 001 00-01 997 as noted in the Relative Value Guide.
NOTE: Medical record documentation should clearly support and reflect physician services. Post-payment reviews may be performed.