Use of AS in the OR

Do you have to bill for an assistant in the OR even if the the procedure does not warrant the use of an assistant?

I feel this is improper coding practice and do not do it while the other coders do do it.


  • Our office does enter charges for an assistant at surgery, even if the procedure is not covered by a carrier for an AS.  We do this at the instruction of our CEO who says he uses the information to see what the PA is doing and their production even it it's not covered.  We are very careful to write off the whole amount when we get a denial so the patient isn't billed for the assistant.   If you accidentally billed a patient for this, it would be BAD
  • Our office checks to see if the code is payable for the assistant.  If the code is payable we bill it. If the code is not payable we do not add it to our claim.

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