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Pay Attention to Discharge Status Codes

The Comprehensive Error Rate Testing Program has seen an increase in the number of errors when reporting incorrect discharge status codes on claims. Here is how you can help.

It is important to select the correct patient discharge status code. In cases when two or more patient discharge status codes apply, report the highest level of care known. Omitting a discharge status code or reporting an incorrect discharge status code is a billing error, which could result in a rejected claim or a cancelled claim and payment taken back.

Assigning the correct patient discharge status code is just as important as any other coding used when filing a claim; it avoids claim errors and helps you receive payment sooner.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires patient discharge status codes for the following types of bill:

Hospital inpatient - 11X, 12X
Skilled Nursing Facility - 18X, 21X, 22X, 23X
Outpatient hospital services - 13X, 14X, 71X, 73X, 74X, 75X, 76X, 85X
All Hospice and Home Health - 32X, 33X, 34X, 81X, 82X

For a list of discharge status codes, please refer to our article on Patient Discharge Status Code Reporting.


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Last modified:  10/05/2017