What anesthesiologists should know about providing TEE services — 3 insights

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Getting paid for transesophageal echocardiography services can be complicated, according to Anesthesia Business Consultants President and CEO Tony Mira.

Mr. Mira answered three important questions about TEE documentation and billing:

1. What type of TEE is billable? The primary TEE services an anesthesiologist might perform are probe placement and interpretation, probe placement only, interpretation only, and intraoperative monitoring. Each of these services has a unique code.

CMS will only pay for "diagnostic" TEE services. Intraoperative monitoring — documented with CPT code 93318 — doesn't meet this definition.

2. What credentials are needed to perform a TEE? Credentialing requirements differ among payers, states and facilities. All TEE providers are responsible for ensuring they've met their location's requirements.

The American Society of Anesthesiologists' position is that only "physicians with appropriate training or comparable experience in perioperative TEE, and who have been credentialed for basic or advanced perioperative TEE, should perform perioperative TEE."

3. What documentation is needed to ensure payment? Providers should document the full range of service as well as the purpose of the TEE.

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