How anesthesia providers can address surgical delays 

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When surgical schedules run off course, anesthesia providers are often left to document the delays to secure reimbursements. 

Tony Mira, Anesthesia Business Consultants' president and CEO, provided tips for anesthesia providers to address schedule disturbances and ensure reimbursements in a Nov. 1 blog post

In the event of a delayed start time, if the patient has already received some type of sedation and the delay is not long enough to justify removing the patient from the operating room, then providers should count the delay time where providers remain with the sedated patient until the surgery can begin. 

Mr. Mira advises anesthesia providers to put a note in the comments of the record explaining the delay.

If the delay is long enough to allow the patient to recover from the effects of sedation, and the patient is removed from the OR, providers can bill time in attendance with the patient until the patient is turned over to other non-anesthesia staff. 

In the event of a delayed end time, unless a payer has provided written guidance against this, Mr. Mira said it is appropriate to bill time in either location reflecting the anesthesia provider's continuing presence with the patient caused by delays. 

Anesthesia providers are allowed to bill anesthesia time until transfer of care, Mr. Mira said. If a care transfer time is delayed due to the temporary unavailability of space or staff, then providers can bill through that time, he said.

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