Comprehensive maternity care and delivery can present some very difficult clinical cases which in turn create complex coding cases for OB/Gyn, Family Practice and Maternal Fetal Medicine based providers.
In a perfect clinical setting, everyone would like to have a happy outcome in all maternity and reproductive medicine cases, unfortunately, some cases do not have a happy outcome. As coders, we are lucky to be a part of the technological and scientific advances in reproductive medicine. However, these technical and scientific advances have created coding and billing challenges that were not part of our education just a few short years ago.
In Vitro Fertilization also known as IVF, is the process of fertilization by manually combining an egg and sperm in a reproductive laboratory setting. If the IVF procedure is successful, the next step in the process is a procedure known as an embryo transfer, which involves physically placing the embryo in the uterus. Reproductive medicine specialists may transfer more than one embryo at a time. The outcome of this transfer, can create a multiple embryo implantation within the uterus (multiple gestation) or can also result in none of the
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, IVF brings with it the opportunity for a maternity patient to have more complex antepartum maternal risk factors such as
- Preterm (early) labor (with possible risks to the infant)
- Preterm (early) delivery
- Maternal Hemorrhage
- Cesarean delivery
- Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- Gestational Diabetes
Statistical data for IVF, notes that the rate of pregnancy loss and/or miscarriage following an IVF are similar to the rates of pregnancy and/or miscarriage from natural conception.
In the coding case study below, it brings to light a twin pregnancy, with each twin delivered
on different days. Certainly, not the norm, but interesting!
In this case study, the patient is pregnant with twins via IVF and has gone into premature labor at 20 weeks gestation (and has had 5 antenatal visits with her Obstetrician) . In the patients’ course of care, she required an emergent admission, and the outcome was an unfortunate one.
Today, the patient is admitted to an inpatient hospital at 20 and 4/7’s weeks in preterm labor with cervical incompetence, pre-term labor and spotting. After a 2-day subsequent stay post admission to the Labor and Delivery unit, the first infant (baby A) delivered prematurely vaginally, and was born alive, and given comfort care only. The placenta did not deliver. The patient is still preganant with baby B.
Patient is still undergoing inpatient care, and on inpatient subsequent day 12, the patient has now progressed into labor again (despite many other antepartum interventions to prevent this from happening). The patient then has a spontaneous rupture of membranes for baby “B” now 9 days post delivery of baby A. This spontaneous labor and delivery produced a non-viable infant that was delivered vaginally without a visible heart rate. Both placenta’s were then delivered vaginally, as well. Patient was discharged 24 hours post the
The coder, then has the challenge of coding and billing this complex scenario for the delivering obstetrician. How this case is coded may be dependent upon how the 3rd party payer would like to have this done so here are some options for you to consider. It is advisable to code the entire case once the patient has been discharged from the inpatient facility.
Coding Consideration: All E&M codes to be reported would be dependent upon the provider documentation noted in the patient record, and subject to CPT criteria for history, exam and medical decision-making as per CPT guidelines, and audit by the coder.
Emergent Inpatient Admission for Pre-term Labor Codes 99221-99223
- Subsequent Inpatient day 2: 99231-99233
- Subsequent Inpatient day 3: 99231-99233-25 Delivery of Baby A (59409) as live birth
- Subsequent Inpatient days 4-11 99231-99233
- Subsequent Inpatient day 12 99231-99233-25 Delivery of Baby B (59409-51 -59) as stillbirth
The next coding issue becomes the diagnosis for the care rendered. Here are some diagnosis codes to be considered, but again would be coded based upon ICD-9cm coding guidelines, and the physician documentation within the medical record:
- Twin pregnancy (code 651.XX)
- Early onset of delivery (code 644.2X)
- Cervical incompetence (code 654.5X)
- Premature Rupture of membranes (code 658.1X)
Status “V” Codes:
- V23.85 Pregnancy resulting from in vitro fertilization
- V27.0 Single liveborn (first delivery baby “A “liveborn)
- V27.1 Single stillborn (second delivery – Baby”B” 9 days later)
The delivery records can still show that initially there were twins on-board, but they were delivered as “separate, single infants”
The diagnosis of the above coding scenario is very complex, and again will require the coder and the 3rd party payer to communicate as to how best the payer would like to have the claim submitted. In a best case – best practice the steps below can help facilitate this process.
1) Review all services provided by each entity. Don’t forget to code any ancillary services if they were provided, such as a cerclage administration, cerclage removal, ultrasound interpretation, or fetal non-stress test interpretation, Review and audit all documentation for subsequent day stays, and associated diagnoses for each date.
2) Submit the complete claim after the patient is discharged. The entire length of stay should be included, and all services and diagnoses correctly associated on your claim form.
3) Submit the claim via a paper process, and include all records and documentation to the 3rd party payer.
4) Review and submit the antepartum care to the payer, for all antepartum services rendered prior to the deliveries. (In this scenario, the patient had received 5 antepartum visits, and the provider could bill CPT code 59425 in addition to the delivery codes (59409)
5) Once the patient has returned to visit the OB provider within the 2/6 week postpartum timeframe, the postpartum care can be billed with CPT code 59430.
6) Follow up with the 3rd party insurance payer to ensure they have received your claim, and answer any questions that may arise due to the complex nature of the case.
The case study above is not a typical representation of most maternity cases. These non-typical or difficult scenarios provide the coder an opportunity for critical thinking and insight as to how to code for these difficult cases.
ACOG - American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: http://www.acog.org/
American Society for Reproductive Medicine: http://www.asrm.org