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Moderate (Conscious) Sedation

Policy ID: NDRP-ANES-002
Section: Anesthesia
Effective Date: July 01, 2018
Last Reviewed: February 08, 2019


 This policy addresses coverage and reimbursement for anesthesia services that are related to the administration of Moderate (Conscious) Sedation


Moderate (conscious) sedation is a drug-induced depression of consciousness during which patients respond purposefully to verbal commands, either alone or accompanied by light tactile stimulation. No interventions are required to maintain a patent airway, and spontaneous ventilation is adequate. Cardiovascular function is usually maintained.

Moderate sedation does not include minimal sedation, deep sedation or monitored anesthesia care.


Benefits are not available for moderate (conscious) sedation administered by the operating surgeon or an independent trained observer supervised by the operating surgeon because it is considered included in the basic service and no additional reimbursement will be allowed.

Benefits will be allowed for moderate (conscious) sedation provided by a physician other than the health care professional performing the diagnostic or therapeutic service when sedation is medically appropriate and necessary.

Members must consult their applicable benefit plans or contact a Member Services representative for specific coverage information.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) will follow the guidelines outlined in the CPT® manual for Moderate (Conscious) Sedation for Preservice Work, Intra-service Work and Post-Service Work.

Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Services

BCBSND made the following change to billing and coding of anesthesia services when billed by the same physician or other qualified health care professional performing a gastrointestinal endoscopic service that sedation supports. This change was made because of the rules implemented by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Jan. 1, 2017. Effective July 1, 2017, the following guidelines apply for eligible services:

HCPC Level II®G0500 – Moderate sedation services provided by the same physician or other qualified health care professional performing a gastrointestinal endoscopic service that sedation supports, requiring the presence of an independent trained observer to assist in the monitoring of the patient’s level of consciousness and physiological status; initial 15 minutes of intra-service time; patient age 5 years of age or older

CPT®99153 – Each additional 15 minutes intra-service time (list separately in addition to code G0500 for primary service)

Qualifying gastrointestinal endoscopic services include those CPT®/HCPCS codes identified and published by CMS as eligible to be billed with G0500.

Medical Services Rendered by Dentists and Oral Surgeons

BCBSND may allow moderate sedation services rendered by dentists and oral surgeons for appropriate D Codes, such as D7140, D7210, and D7240.  When billing for moderate sedation, dentists and oral surgeons can use CPT Codes 99151 or 99152 and 99153; or D9239 and D9243.

If a deeper level of sedation is required, D9222 and D9223 may be used.  If these codes are billed, providers must have appropriate documentation in the patient record to support this level of sedation.

Cross Reference:

  1. CMS Moderate Sedation Work Values Table
  2. CPT ® 2019
  3. HCPC Level II ® 2019
  4. This policy replaces HCN 396 – Moderate (Conscious) Sedation, issued September 2017.