Q&A: Billing for pre- or postsurgical pain control blocks

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Q: If an anesthesiologist performs a presurgical or postsurgical block for pain control and it is performed in a holding area rather than in the operating room (OR), can we bill a separate facility (technical) fee for that? Or would this be bundled with OR services?

A: It would be very difficult to explain the additional facility fee if the purpose of the block is directly related to the surgical procedure and performed in the overall surgical area. Instead, consider including it in the anesthesia facility charge, where the costs/resources are reported by most facilities for the anesthesia portion of the procedure. You could set up a charge description master item for pre- or postsurgical pain control block and add a charge that covers the time involved in the procedure. Put it under revenue code 0370, for example, and then it rolls up with the other anesthesia charges.

Editor’s note: This question was posted on the NAHRI Forums. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of NAHRI, HCPro, or any of its subsidiaries. Find more NAHRI resources on billing and claims here.