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When to Use Fetal NST Code 59025

The time to use 59025 to code a fetal non-stress test is when the patient records that she has felt the baby moving. If not then the fetal monitor is counted as routine.

What makes the NST Code True?

When you use the code 59025 for the fetal non-stress test for NST procedures you must make sure you are using them correctly. How that happens is that during the NST procedure the ob-gyn evaluates the patient and evaluates the well being of the fetus with out the use of IV medications. The test lasts for approximately 30-40 minutes, and the ob-gyn monitors the heart rate of the fetus using external transducers.

If the NST is reactive it will show the fetal heart rate go above the baseline which is 15 beats per minute for a minimum of 15 seconds twice in a 10 minute time frame. If after 20 minutes the fetal heart rate has not sped up then the doctor may try to get a fetal response with acoustic stimulation through the mother's abdomen or a vibration. The acoustic stimulation or vibration has the effect of waking the baby or causing it to react to the stimulus. The ob-gyn might then repeat this stimulation once every five minutes for a total of two to three times. If there is still no acceleration of the baby's heart rate then the doctor will determine that the test is nonreactive.

The most important thing is that the patient feels the fetal movements and marks it. The ob-gyn interprets the test and dictates a report that must be included on the patient's record. An example would be that the ob-gyn sees a patient that is at 31 weeks gestation who has a feeling that her fetus has not been moving much. For the first 20 minutes of the monitoring the doctor uses external transducers and finds no accelerated heart rate for the fetus. The doctor then tries an electronic larynx to get the fetus stimulated through noise through the patients abdomen. The patient marks when she feels movement throughout the test which is about 30-40 minutes.

This service would be reported with 59025 because the doctor is using the NST to determine the fetal status. This procedure takes longer than a labor check and also requires that the doctor use repeated stimulations to evaluate the fetal reactions or the lack of reactions.

Using these codes correctly and with the proper documentation will insure that you get the complete medical billing reimbursements for the procedures done.

By: Capstone Physician Services

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