Bedside Physicians Do’s and Don’ts

The Ensemble Physician Advisory Team shares what you need to know about documenting patient status.



IPO List* procedures must remain Inpatient
regardless of the length of stay
Don’t place patients in Observation status before

Outpatient surgery is performed (You are predicting complications)

Remember! As a general rule:

Elective Outpatient procedure with no complications
Outpatient Status

Emergent Outpatient procedure with complications;
LOS < 2 Midnights = Observation Status

Emergent Outpatient procedure with complications; 
LOS ≥ 2 Midnights = Inpatient Status

Don’t place post-operative patients in
Observation status unless complications arise
Get prior approval for all elective surgical procedures
when required by the payer
Routine recovery time does not equal Observation
Specify all procedures and CPT codes Don’t use unspecified codes when scheduling
procedures or add on procedures
Update CPT codes and Operative notes ASAP for
unexpected changes in procedure e.g. conversion from 
a laparoscopic to an open procedure
Don’t copy and paste

• IPO*(Inpatient Only) list created by Medicare includes high risk procedures that must be done in a hospital setting where all specialties are available if needed.

• IPO procedures cannot be done in an office or ambulatory surgical center (ASC).

• For questions about hospitalization status call your Ensemble physician advisor.