Disposable pulse oximetry- To charge or not to charge

Are disposable pulse oximetry probes considered a patient chargeable supply at your facility?

Our debate is with the disposable pulse oximetry.

Some say standard of care do not charge.

Others say charge due to being disposable.


Any helpful insight?

If to charge, some then ask about disposable blood pressure cuffs.... You wouldn't charge for that.  Thanks


  • We have had that same battle. From a clinical perspective, pulse oximetry has become a standard of care, everyone has a pulse ox check as part of vital signs. From a capturing of cost perspective, hospitals try to capture every single supply so they can accurately report costs. At my old job, we took a blended approach. If the pulse ox was used on the majority of patients all of the time, like NICU or OR, we wrapped the cost into other associated service. If it was not a routine service, like up on the nursing floors, we would give them a charge for the probe. if you do wrap the cost into another service, you should keep a record of that somewhere to justify the pricing of said services.

    Personally, I tend to agree, that this should not be a chargeable item, especially since the probe itself can be recycled and reused, but in a world of cutting costs and offering value, all costs need to be taken into consideration. Hopes this offers perspective. DS

  • thank you!

  • We stopped charging, as it edits with just about everything, and turned it into a stat charge, so they could measure productivity. 
  • We stopped charging for the disposable pulse oximetry and the disposable blood pressure cuffs and just consider those to be a routine cost of doing business for the majority of patients.
  • 1/1/19 we packaged our routine oximetry/probe supplies into our Respiratory therapy charges.  We do not charge them separately any longer.
  • jacobc@gcrmc.org  - What do you mean by a stat charge for productivity?
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