Critical care is the direct delivery by a physician(s) or other qualified health care professional of medical care for a critically ill or critically injured patient.
A critical illness or injury acutely impairs one or more vital organ systems such that there is a high probability of imminent or life-threatening deterioration in the patient's condition.
Critical care services include the treatment of vital organ failure or prevention of further life-threatening conditions.
Delivering medical care in a moment of crisis and in time of emergency is not the only requirement for providing Critical Care services.
Examples of vital organ system failure include, but are not limited to,
- Central nervous system failure,
- Circulatory failure,
- Renal, hepatic, metabolic, and/or respiratory failure.
Critical care may be provided on multiple days, even if no changes are made in the treatment rendered to the patient, provided that the patient's condition continues to require the level of attention mentioned above.
The Critical Care Services for a patient who is not critically ill but happens to be in a critical care unit are reported using other appropriate E/M codes.
- Coronary Care Unit (CCU),
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU),
- Respiratory Care Unit, or
- Emergency Room.
- Interpretation of cardiac output measurements - 93561, 93562
- Chest X rays -71045, 71046
- Pulse oximetry - 94760, 94761, 94762[blood gases, and collection and interpretation of physiologic data] (eg, ECGs, blood pressures, hematologic data);
- Gastric intubation - 43752, 43753
- Temporary transcutaneous pacing - 92953
- Ventilatory management - 94002-94004, 94660, 94662
- Vascular access procedures - 36000, 36410, 36415, 36591, 36600