Regulation to Change on Reporting Anesthesia Time

05 Sep

There is a transition underway to the 5010 HIPAA electronic claims standards. The American Society of Anesthesiologists has announces that, as part of this transition, there will be a universal system for reporting anesthesia time to all payers which will go into effect January 1, 2012. This new standard will require all anesthesia time to be reported in minutes instead of units. While some payers already use this system currently, by January, 2012 it will be a requirement for all payers.

The ASA has spent years successfully lobbying against this change, but change is on the way. Part of the resistance was due to the fact that the change can cause some payers to move from a full unit to fractional unit payment system. While this may benefit some anesthesia providers it may also cost some providers money, depending on when individual contracts permit rounding to the next unit. According to the report, the change will not stop contracts from rounding to the nearest whole unit when determining payments.

Changes to commercial payment contracts will have to be negotiated between anesthesiologists and commercial providers. Anesthesiologists should be aware of this change when negotiating contracts with payers.