Oncology Coding Article – Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS)


Medical Oncology Code Changes

ACOA’s Coding Corner – February 2006

Code Hydration or Not?

The 2006 CPT Manual includes the following instruction regarding separate charges for hydration: “The fluid used to administer the drug(s) is incidental hydration and is not separately reportable.”

As a result, a “flush bag” or an IV of a substance used to flush between drug therapies or to assist in drug administration is not separately charged as “hydration.”  The following codes are reported only when the patient receives hydration therapy for a diagnosis such as volume depletion (276.50), dehydration (276.51) or hypovolemia (276.52):

90760              Intravenous infusion, hydration; initial, up to 1

90761              Each additional hour, up to 8 hours

These codes report a hydration IV infusion that consists of a pre-packaged fluid and electrolytes, but are not used to report infusion of drugs or other substances.  Drug administration services should instead be coded to the method of administration and type of substance (i.e., chemotherapy infusion, therapeutic push, etc.).  In addition, there is no separate charge for IV, port or catheter access or for the flush at the conclusion of therapy.  Last, hydration infusions require direct physician supervision (in the office suite and immediately available) in the freestanding center or office sites of service.

Watch for more coding changes in the upcoming months.  Review previous Coding and Reimbursement Updates.

This Coding and Reimbursement Update was prepared by:
Cindy C. Parman, CPC, CPC-H
Coding Strategies, Inc.

Phone: (877) 6CODING

Fax: (770) 445-0407

[email protected]

Cindy C. Parman, CPC, CPC-Hcparman-2163635
principal and co-founder of Coding Strategies, Inc. in Atlanta, GA. Cindy is a current member of the Advisory Board for the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and a faculty instructor for AMA Solutions, a subsidiary of the American Medical Association.  She serves as the Consulting Editor of the Radiology Coding Alert and is on the Editorial Advisory Board of General Surgery Coding Alert and Pain Management Coding Alert.