When billing for anesthesia time, are we supposed to round incomplete units of anesthesia time up or down, or leave them as fractional time units? What is the proper way to bill?
Report anesthesia time using the basic value or the base unit, which includes the following two components:
1. The usual services included in the administration of anesthesia, such as the preoperative and post-operative visits or the administration of fluids or blood products incident to the procedure
2. Those based on the relative work and cost of the procedure for the physician You can find other rules associated with the base units in the American Medical Association’s CPT handbook just before the anesthesia section, and in the Relative Value Guide published by the American Society of Anesthesiologists. The second reporting requirement is the reporting of time. The most commonly accepted unit of time is 15 minutes, however, commercial insurance companies are not required to use it, so check with your carrier to find out which unit it uses. Your insurance company may also have their own method for reporting whole or fractional units of time. It may want you to only report whole numbers, rounding up or down, or it may require up to three decimal places after the whole number. It depends on the company. Medicare reporting of anesthesia services is in section 15018 of part 3 (claims processing), in the Medicare Carrier Manual. Rules for base units, directed anesthesia, and concurrent procedures, etc. are also in this section.