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Research Letter
June 2016

Upcoding and Anesthesia Risk in Outpatient Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Procedures

Author Affiliations
  • 1RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California
  • 2RAND Corporation, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(6):855-856. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.1244

A substantial increase in the use of anesthesia services for outpatient gastrointestinal (GI) procedures may represent low-value care.1,2 Some investigators have argued that this increase reflects increases in patient risk,3 whereas others state that it may come from physicians “upcoding” risk because anesthesia services are often covered only for patients for whom sedation or anesthesia carries a high risk of complications.4,5 A study was conducted to assess whether coding practices on claims for anesthesia services have changed with time.

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