Differences Between Inpatient and Outpatient Services

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When discussing inpatient and outpatient services you are discussing to different processes that issues and medical facilities or private practices. When looking for differences in inpatient and outpatient services, one of the major differences would be the type of service they provide and the coding and billing process. An inpatient service requires the patient to be admitted into a health facility for at least 24 hours. Some inpatient overnight cares can be done at a hospital, skilled nursing facilities or any type of health center that requires that patients care to be given by a licensed nurse under the direction by the doctor, some examples of these services can include intravenous injections, changing bandages and cleaning wounds, or tube feedings. There are also long-term facilities that care for patients with prolonged illnesses such as dementia.

That outpatient service is provided to patients that are not required to stay in the hospital overnight. Most outpatient services are provided in the emergency room, physical therapy, laboratory, same day surgery and radiology, these are a few areas that provide outpatient services. Outpatient services are for patients that come into the health facility for testing and treatments and return home the same day. There are Home Health Care Services that provide some treatments such as some physical therapy, speech therapy and some skilled nursing treatments, the services are also considered and outpatient service.

Day inpatient and outpatient services affect the coding process by the time frame that is used for each service. Inpatient coding is done by medical coders as soon as the patient is discharged from the health facility. An example of inpatient coding would be a patient who was admitted in a hospital for five days after a car accident and when the patient was discharge from the hospital, the patients chart was sent to the billing office who then filed the codes and claim. Outpatient coding...
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