Emerald Health LLC - Electronic Referral System and EMR Software




Hydration is the replacement of essential fluids by means of IV infusion consisting of prepackaged fluids and electrolytes.  The services for hydration can be coded by using CPT codes 96360 (for the initial 31 min. to 1 hour) and 96361 (for each additional hour).  If they IV fluids are reported as administered for 30 min or less you would not use infusion codes. So, are you doing your Billing correctly for hydration administration?

In order to use CPT codes, hydration services must be medically necessary.  Example of medically necessary:

  • Pre and post hydration services with chemotherapy
  • If a patient has GI disturbances or poor nutrition

Services not considered medical necessity are:

  • Keep Open or KVO solutions
  • Flush solutions before and after a medication
  • Diluent fluids for other medications
  • Fluids used to run IV piggyback drugs or other infusions

When choosing the appropriate CPT code selection to consider:

  • Reason for the encounter
  • Other infusions/injections services provided at the same encounter
  • Medical necessity of fluid administration
  • Length of infusion time
  • Type of infusion and treatment provided


For example, If there is Saline administered as well as IV Drug Infusion and they are running at the same time.  You would subtract the time of the Drug Infusion (96365) from the Saline (96360-96361).

Saline Started at 4 pm and Saline stopped at 7 pm

Drug Infusion started at 5 pm and stopped at 6 pm

The codes would be: 96361×2 & 96365

And that is the most particular and precise way to do Billing correctly for hydration administration.

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