The 2 changes to ASA's 2019 Relative Value Guide anesthesiologists should know

The American Society of Anesthesiologists' 2019 Relative Value Guide contains two changes anesthesia providers should know, according to Anesthesia Business Consultants President and CEO Tony Mira.

The guide provides descriptors for anesthesia services, base unit values and current procedural terminology codes.

Two key changes:

1. The new guidance modifies the approach to field avoidance with an emphasis on limited airway access. It essentially reduces the circumstances under which anesthesia providers can bill for field avoidance. The field avoidance definition doesn't mention the patient's position, which is no longer factored into units.

2. The 2019 RVG also revises the definition of anesthesia time, incorporating the concept of discontinuous time. When billing for anesthesia time, documentation must show that the anesthesia provider or another anesthesia department member was with the patient the entire time of billing.

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