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2012 Texas Medicaid Provider Procedures Manual

Inpatient and Outpatient Hospital Services Handbook : 4. Outpatient Hospital (Medical/Surgical Acute Care Outpatient Facility) : 4.2 Services, Benefits, Limitations, and Prior Authorization : 4.2.4 Outpatient Observation Room Services : Observation Following Emergency Room
A client may be admitted to outpatient observation through the emergency room if the client presents to the facility with an unstable medical condition and the evaluating practitioner determines that outpatient observation is medically necessary to determine a definitive treatment plan. An unstable medical condition is defined as one of the following:
If a client is admitted to observation status from the emergency room, the hospital is reimbursed only for the observation room charges. The emergency room charges are not reimbursed separately, but must be submitted on a separate detail on the same claim as the observation room charges.
Brief observation periods following an emergency room evaluation will not be reimbursed if the service would normally have been provided within the time frames and facilities of an emergency room visit.

Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership
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