QUESTION: I have a question regarding the coding of a computer-assisted fluoroscopy. Consider the following documentation: Use and interpretation of intraoperative fluoroscopy. After positioning the patient, the posterior lumbar area was prepped and draped in the standard sterile fashion. The prior incision was marked with a marking pen. C-arm fluoroscopy was used to map an incision extending from the tip of the spinous process of L2 to that of L5. After performing a time-out, this incision was infiltrated with local anesthetic and incised with a 10-blade scalpel. Dissection proceeded through the subcutaneous fat using Bovie monopolar cautery. Self-retaining retractors were applied. Dissection then proceeded in the midline through the avascular plane through the lumbodorsal fascia and musculature using the Bovie. Self-retaining retractors were deepened. Would you assign a procedure code for the fluoroscopy for this inpatient procedure or would it just be inclusive in the procedure? There seems to be confusion when comparing this procedure in an inpatient setting vs. an outpatient setting.
QUESTION: The 2012 CPT ® Manual includes the typical time physicians spend at the bedside and on the patient’s hospital floor or unit for initial observation care codes 99218, 99219, and 99220. Do these codes only apply when the counseling and/or coordination of care support the respective 30/50/70 minutes of time? Do you know if CMS has published any new guidelines related to these times?
QUESTION: A patient had an aneurysm at arteriovenous (AV) fistula, and the physician excluded the aneurysm between two clamps, ends oversewn, and excised the aneurysm. The physician used a tunneler to tunnel an 8 mm Flixine graft from the arterial to the venous side, and two end-to-side anastomoses were then performed at the vein and arterial end. Should we report code 39.42 (revision of AV shunt for renal dialysis) with code 38.63 (other excision of vessel), or code 38.43 (resection of vessel with replacement), or another code(s)?
Our coding experts answer your questions about determining ED visit level, coding open reduction and internal fixation of a radius fracture, and coding image-guided minimally invasive lumbar decompression.
With all the complexities related to the implementation of ICD-10, it's no wonder that so many in the healthcare industry have a number of questions related to the various aspects of this new coding...