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Administering Insulin in the Hospital Outpatient Setting, Is It a Self-Administered Drug?

Published on 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

 | FAQ 

As a follow-up to last week’s question about Lovenox, (link) we have the same question regarding insulin: We have NOT been charging for insulin administration given in any form (ex. IM, Infusion), but should we?


Palmetto, GBA considers Insulin to be a self-administered drug when given by subcutaneous route. For Medicare, you would NEVER report a subcutaneous injection for insulin (CPT code 96372). Palmetto says if you give insulin by a different route, it is appropriate to report the administration CPT code, such as IM or IV.

Cahaba, GBA the prior Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for Jurisdiction J, had told Provider that insulin is a self-administered drug regardless of the route. The Palmetto policy is not as strict as Cahaba’s.

Again, here is a link to Palmetto’s self-administered drug list, which includes discussion about drugs on the list given by other than subcutaneous route.
Local Coverage Article for Self-Administered Drug Exclusion List

Remember, insulin is sometimes documented using other names, and it is easy to miss these drugs if you are not familiar with some of the brand names. If you need a reminder, review the Wednesday@One article at the link below from September 2018 which lists some of the more common insulin names and types.

Do You Know When to Code Z79.4?

Article Author: Jeffery Gordon, RN, MSN, CCA, COC
Jeffery Gordon, RN, MSN, CCA, COC, is the Manager of Outpatient Medical Review at Medical Management Plus, Inc. Jeff has over thirty-five years of experience in healthcare including Critical Care, Infection Control, Quality Assurance, Medical Necessity, Outpatient Coding, Medicare Claims data analysis and Medical Record review.

This material was compiled to share information.  MMP, Inc. is not offering legal advice. Every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure the information is accurate and useful.