Charging for Sutures in OR?

We have not charged for sutures in the past.  With stall of Epic in August, I would like to change that practice.

Do you charge for sutures?  Why or why not?


  • We currently charge for sutures and all closure devices.  But have notices an increased denial from Commercial payers during their line item reviews as integral to the procedure.
  • We don't charge separately for sutures but include them in the surgery level charge
  • Most hospitals I work with do not charge seperately. I would be interested to know the benefit to charging separate vs including them in the time or procedure charge.
  • We charge them separately as they are part of the case's Epic/OpTime preference list and the charges are set to post when the case log posts.  I agree that we have also seen an increase in denials from commercial payers who are doing line item audits saying that they are integral/routine for the procedure [we see this with almost all med/surg supplies.]  The problem I see is that sutures vary from $10 to $500 and you could use 1 suture or 500.  I guess it comes down to an average supply amount that you add to each room rate.  So, once you make the decision to "package" them and other supplies into your operating room charge, how do you keep the room rate low enough to be competitive with other hospitals?  It seems like a catch-22.
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