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Attempted CardioMEM implant

"Our interventional cardiologist brought the patient to the cath lab for a RHC and CardioMEMS implant. The RHC was performed followed by a pulmonary angiogram via RFV access to identify a suitable vessel. The LPA was found to be an appropriate site for the device. The CardioMEMS device was advanced to the PA segment; however, they could not obtain reliable device waveforms. After multiple attempts and repositioning it was felt the patient's anatomy and BMI were preventing adequate device/controller signal. Device was removed and not implanted." Should we report the attempted CardioMEMS procedure (33289) or consider reporting the work that was done RHC with PA (93451, 93568)? Should we consider a modifier -53 here?

EPS followed by PPM insertion and AV node ablation

Would it be appropriate to charge for the following limited EP study followed by a PPM implant and then AV node ablation? What code(s) would be appropriate? 

"Using the modified Seldinger technique, a 7 French sheath was placed in the right femoral vein. Through this sheath, a duo decapolar catheter was placed to the right atrium, sitting anterior to the crista terminalis, with the distal poles in the coronary sinus. Activation mapping was performed. The right atrium had a chevron appearance of activation. Entrainment was performed from the CTI, which was found to be out of the circuit, with a long PPI minus TCL. The CS was found to be within the circuit. The tachycardia was consistent with mitral annular flutter." 

The PPM insertion and AV node ablation that followed were appropriately documented and were all performed in the same session.

Subclavian Artery Angiogram/Intervention

"Access site left CFA. Catheter was advanced over the wire to the ostium of the left subclavian, and selective angiogram was performed. This demonstrated a subtotally occluded left subclavian artery. Using digital subtraction angiography, the distal vessel did fill, suggesting some hibernating arterial supply for micro-channels. Balloon was advanced over the wire into the left axillary artery, and selective angiogram was performed. This demonstrated excellent flow to the arm. The balloon was then pulled back into the left subclavian artery, and selective angiogram was performed. This demonstrated no significant flow into the vertebral. The IVUS catheter was then inserted, and a pullback was performed. This demonstrated an axillary artery size of 7 mm. The left subclavian measured 6.5 x 7.3 mm with a 100% stenosis. Subclavian artery was then ballooned. It was inflated to 14 ATM for 20 seconds. Following this the lesion was then stented using a 6 x 40 mm Omnilink stent. It was deployed at 18 ATM for 30 seconds." Do I report codes 36225-LT, 37236, and 37252? Or do I report codes 75710-LT, 37236, and 37252?

Intracranial treatment of vasopasm plus diagnostic imaging vertebrals

If the provider performs prolonged administration of verapamil into one of the vertebrals (61650), and does diagnostic imaging and provides separate findings for the contralateral vertebral, are we able to code for both 61650 and diagnostic imaging for the contralateral side? Or does the 61650 bundle everything done in that territory (vertebro-basilar)?

Lumbar injection for RT planning

I'm questioning code for lumbar puncture done in IR for RT planning. Should I report codes 62284 / 77003?

"CLINICAL INDICATION: Rad Onc simulation. History of liposarcoma mets to spine s/p surgery. PROCEDURE: Following explanation...... consent for a a fluoro-guided lumbar puncture and CT myelogram were obtained from patient. Under fluoro guidance, L4 space selected, 20 gauge spinal needle advanced into subarachnoid space. Return of clear CSF confirmed. 10 mL of Omnipaque-240 injected slowly into subarachnoid space. Needle removed. Contrast confirmed in upper thoracic and lumbar levels. Patient was then sent to rad onc. IMPRESSION: Successful fluoro-guided lumbar puncture and intrathecal injection of contrast throughout the t- and l-spine levels for rad onc simulation."

51 modifier and 59/X modifiers

Can we use a -51 modifier with -59 or -X modifiers? Example: 36224, 36226-51, 36225-51-XS.


Are antibiotics typically given 30-60 minutes prior to a procedure billable to the patient? For example, I was told that when placing a neph tube the antibiotic is not billable, but if we are changing a neph tube it is billable. Basically if we don't always use antibiotics before something like a neph tube change then I was to bill for it. I see some doctors ordering it and some do not. Also was told that our OR does not bill for antibiotics given before, but if given after may be billable. I need clear information if I am to challenge the person who trained me.

Do images need to be stored in order to bill 93990?

If our provider performs a brief ultrasound in the office two weeks following PAVF to assess maturation, do we need to store the images in order to bill 93990? Is 93990 bundled with the E&M?

What are the documentation requirements for an LVAD Interrogation - 93750?

Per CPT description - the below listed parameters/device functions must be documented in the LVAD Interrogation report.

93750 reports a diagnostic procedure that is performed in person and includes a face-to-face assessment of all device functions. Components that must be evaluated include device parameters (alarms, drivelines, and power surges) and a review of the device function (flow/volume status, septum status, and recovery). This code includes physician or other qualified health care professional analysis, review, and report. It also includes device programming, if performed.

Based on information from provider Septum Status/Recovery can't be determined by an LVAD interrogation alone without performing a RAMP study.

Please elaborate on the required documentation in relation to Septum Status and Recovery for an LVAD Interrogation - 93750 - when a RAMP study is not being performed - only an LVAD Interrogation?

Cath placement to the aorta from the SMA access by abdominal incision

We are wanting to know if a catheter placement into the aorta from the SMA that was accessed with an arteriotomy by an abdominal incision is separately billable. The op note states in part: "An upper midline laparotomy incision is performed in the usual fashion… A small transverse arteriotomy was made on the anterior surface of the SMA. Next the micropuncture wire is inserted directly into the arteriotomy site followed by a micropuncture sheath… The SMA lesion was crossed retrograde. The sheath was upsized to a short 7 French sheath. Given the poor distal outflow is difficult to opacify the runoff however the heavily calcified ostial lesion is easily visible in a steep oblique angle. A flush catheter was placed into the aortic to confirm reentry into the true lumen. The SMA lesion was pre-dilated with a 5 x 40 mm angioplasty balloon over the stiff Glidewire. Next a 7 by 27mm VBX is deployed at the SMA origin with excellent angiographic result." Would the cath placement be billed with 36200 or be considered part of the primary procedure?

impella sheath removal

My physicians have been removing the Impella on the floor in the ICU but leaving in the 14 French sheath and then bringing the them down to the cath lab the next day to do a tamponade closure using an Armada balloon. Would there be a charge for Impella sheath removal with balloon tamponade (closure of the sheath removal site)?

Thoracotomy Pacemaker Gen Change

How should this be coded? 33237-52 along with 33213 for insertion? "PROCEDURE: The patient was brought to the operating room, put in a supine position on the OR table, and was endotracheally intubated for induction of general anesthesia. We prepped and draped the left chest in standard fashion. We then used some Marcaine in the skin. We placed a small incision in the left chest over the previous incision, went in between the ribs, and entered the left chest and pleura. We identified the pacemaker box, which was full floating freely within the pleura, and we were able to pull it in and exchanged it out without any problem. There were two leads, one ventricular and one atrial, that were reconnected to the new pacemaker generator. We used the antibiotic and pocket placed around the device, and then we placed it back into the chest cavity. We closed the incision in multiple layers. We placed a small 24 French Blake drain, and then the patient was then awakened and brought to the cardiac recovery room in stable condition."

Aggrastat or Angiomax 92977

Does administration of either Aggrastat or Angiomax during heart cath/stenting qualify to report CPT 92977 for physician side or facility side? If not, what would meet the criteria? "A repeat injection demonstrated 0% residual stenosis but there was only TIMI-1 flow with some slow flow noted which I treated with a bolus of Aggrastat, which 5 minutes later demonstrated TIMI-3 flow. Just as a precaution, I elected to give another bolus of Aggrastat."

RV lead replacement with DFT

Should the following be reported as 33216 and 93642? Or 33216 and 93641? "Usual prep and drape was done in sterile fashion. Anesthesia used was 1% xylocaine. Following satisfactory anesthesia, the generator of the ICD was explanted using sharp and blunt dissection. Following this, the lead was disconnected from the device. A new right ventricular lead was then placed using sheath placement with Seldinger technique in the subclavian vein on the left. This was advanced into the apex of the right ventricle, and satisfactory pacing and sensing thresholds were obtained. This was then attached to the existing generator and the excess lead and generator placed in the pocket. The pocket was flushed with antibiotic solution and was closed using running 3-0 Dexon suture for the subcutaneous tissue and subcuticular running suture of same for the skin. Following this, the patient was placed in ventricular fibrillation with a T shock, and the device successfully cardioverted the patient back to a sinus mechanism with 10 joules."

MR myelogram injection code 62284

My provider performs contrast injection for MR myelograms. I believe 62284 is correct. Please advise.

"Fluoroscopically-guided lumbar puncture for opening pressure measurement and CSF collection. Subsequent intrathecal injection of MR contrast for pending total MR myelogram and MR cisternogram. Using biplane fluoroscopic guidance, a 3 1/2 inch in length 25 gauge Whitacre needle was advanced through a 1.5 inch in length 19 gauge hypodermic needle placed in the posterior low back skin and subcutaneous soft tissues. The Whitacre needle was advanced into the subarachnoid lumbar space at the superior L3 level. AP and lateral images of the lumbar spine were acquired. Opening pressure was measured. 2 mL of clear CSF were removed and sent to the laboratory. 0.6 mL of Gadavist mixed in 8 mL of preservative-free normal saline were then injected through the Whitacre needle into the lumbar subarachnoid space. Stylette was replaced in the Whitacre needle."

EP code 93657

How many times can code 93657 can be billed per session?

New CPT 33741 for Congenital Anomalies

Since the new 33741 code contains the description "for congenital cardiac anomalies" and the deleted codes (92992, 92993) it replaces did not have the "congenital" description, do you think that an unlisted code should be used for "non-congenital" conditions requiring the transvenous balloon or blade septostomy? If so, from which CPT section? Surgery (33999) or Medicine (93799)?

Endoleak repair with Viabahn Stents

"There was a saccular aneurysm at the distal anastomosis of the patient's previous aortic graft just prior to the bifurcation. Two 8 x 59 covered stents were placed in the distal abdominal aorta instilled into the iliacs. Two additional 8 x 59 covered iliac stents were placed more distal for proper coverage and molded to form a new conduit within abdominal aorta." Are we able to use 34710 and 34711 x 2, or would this be 37236 and 37237?

Permanent Image with CPT Code 76000

When using CPT code 76000, do you need to have a permanent image?


Would the unlisted vascular surgery CPT be used? "DX: intraoperative hemorrhage. The patient was undergoing a TAH, and significant bleeding was encountered deep in the pelvis that proved difficult to isolate and control. The provider was called to the OR to assist in isolation and control of the source of the hemorrhage. The patient was already under general anesthesia with her peritoneal cavity exposed via a midline laparotomy incision. The peritoneum was copiously irrigated and examined. Several small areas of bleeding were controlled with cautery. The area was carefully examined, and better exposure was achieved by ligating and dividing several small bundles of tissue. A 2-3 mm diameter thin-walled vascular structure was identified and noted to be bleeding steadily. The vessel was then oversewn with 0 vicryl suture. Hemostasis was excellent. The peritoneum was again inspected and copiously irrigated, and no further bleeding was evident. At this time, the provider scrubbed out and left the abdominal closure to the OBGYN team."

Tortuous Coronary Graft

What would be the proper diagnosis code for a tortuous coronary graft? Would I77.1 be considered? "RIMA graft to 2nd marginal. Graft is angiographically normal, but the vessel has significant tortuosity."

Thoracic esophagoscopy during cardiac valve repair

During a minimally invasive mitral valve ring repair, the TEE probe could not be placed. Two providers tried and failed, so the cardiac surgeon called in his thoracic surgery partner to do a flexible esophagoscopy to evaluate why. Thoracic surgeon did not find a reason to prevent the TEE probe being placed. They tried again and TEE probe could not be placed, and surgery done with TTE. Is the thoracic surgeon's esophagoscopy separately billable? I think it is; please advise.

Percutaneous Balloon Pericardiotomy

"Fluid was drained from the pericardium by insertion of an 18 gauge thin wall needle in the Subxyphoid area. A J tip wire was inserted followed by sheath insertion. An 18 mm balloon was then inserted to the pericardium and inflated. Balloon was then removed out the window created in the pericardium. One 60 cc syringe was utilized to drain 45 cc of fluid. A drainage tube was attached to a bottle for drainage. Procedure was complete and no tissue samples taken." Would this procedure be reported with code  33017 since the procedure is being performed via percutaneous needle and use of the balloon is to create a small hole or "window" large enough to drain the fluid?

Occlusion Vs Thrombosis

I have a case where the physician is performing a thrombectomy (37184) with a Penumbra catheter as well as an atherectomy/balloon angioplasty (37229) in the right anterior tibial artery. Anterior tibial stenosis is documented as well as an "occlusion" in the same artery. Is it okay to capture the thrombectomy even though he is only naming it an occlusion?

CPT 93295, 93296 in skilled nursing facility

If a patient is in a skilled nursing facility, what codes get billed to the SNF vs. Medicare, 93295 and 93296?

congenital vs. non-congenital cath codes

It is my understanding that certain cardiac conditions, such as ASD and VSD, can technically be congenital or acquired. The ICD-10-CM classification assumes these conditions to be congenital (when not otherwise specified, of course). The CPT codebook does not include ASD and VSD in its list of diseases for which only the non-congenital cath codes may be assigned. When a patient with a known ASD or VSD undergoes a cardiac cath, and the physician has not indicated whether the disease is congenital or acquired, can we automatically code from the congenital family of cath CPTs? Do we need to query the physician? (All of our cath lab patients are adults.)

Documentation for PVI ablation plus additional ablations

Is the following sufficient for 93656, 93657, 93655 x 2? "Indication: Persistent A-Fib. Procedures performed: Comprehensive EPS with attempted induction and PVI ablation of A-fib, isolation of anterior wall for A-Fib. Report: Ablation catheter advanced into the left atrium. Mapping showed isolation of left veins, but right veins reconnected. Lesions placed along the posterior wall right side veins. Additional lesions placed along the floor of the left atrium to achieve a floor line. Block across the floor line confirmed by pacing. Additional lesions placed along the roof of left atrium, along a roof line, until the posterior wall was isolated. He remained in a-flutter, so additional lesions were placed, creating an anterior line. All lines were confirmed by re-mapping. Mapping showed several fractionated electrograms that appeared to be reentrant triggers; these were also targeted. During the ablation he had five separate activation patterns. He then developed a sixth pattern after ablating the fractionated areas. He was cardioverted. His recorded and EPS done."

76145 Medical Physics dose eval for radiation exposure

I was asked if 76145 would be utilized by the cath lab. It has a status indicator S. What work is required of the department to submit this CPT code?

50432, 50080

When a urologist places a nephrostomy tube (50432) prior to a percutaneous nephrostolithotomy (50080), can both codes be coded? If the tube is taken out at the end of the procedure, is it appropriate to append a -52 modifier?

Temporary Uterine Artery Balloon Occlusion

Preop uterine myomectomy in OR, but had balloons placed in IR suite prior to procedure. Physician placed bilateral temporary uterine artery balloons. Balloons were removed after myomectomy. Is there a code for placement of temporary uterine artery balloon placement?

33289 and 33227 same day

I had a patient who had a CRT-P downgraded to a single chamber pacemaker (His, RA leads capped, RV lead remains, old gen out/new gen in) and coded this to a 33227. The patient came in later that day for a CardioMEMS implant. This I coded to 33289. I am receiving NCCI edit that 33227 is component of 33289, not bypassable with mod. Should I attempt to send these two codes through and appeal, or do I really have to consider the pacemaker procedure a component of the CardioMEMS implant? This edit seems to make no sense to me, unless there is a clinical rationale why they should not be rendered on same DOS? What course of action would you take?


Can you advise of the percentage reduction in physician work given an iFR /DFR is less time/less intensive than FFR? Also how it is documented correctly?

Is this coded 64400x 2 or 64400 x 3?

Is this injection coded with 64400 x 2 or 64400 x 3? Do we code per branch or nerve? "The supraorbital, supratrochlear, and auriculo-temporal nerve regions were identified by manual palpation. The overlying skin was prepped with an alcohol pad. At this point, after negative aspiration, a total 1.5 mL volume of treatment injectate, consisting of 0.75 mL of 1% lidocaine and 0.75 mL of 0.25% Bupivacaine, was injected easily at each area. Needles were withdrawn, and the patient was monitored for 15 minutes with no ill effects."

Spinraza Injection via Intrathecal Port already in place

Would you recommend reporting code 96450-52 for a Spinraza injection where the radiologist is not directly puncturing the spinal canal, but rather injecting via an intrathecal port already in place, since by code definition 96450 "requires spinal puncture"?

Preop EKGs

Is an EKG with the reason "pre-op" and on the same day as a procedure always non-billable/bundled no matter what the IR procedure, or is it bundled with only certain procedures?

Is an "evolving STEMI considered acute?

Patient presented to ER with CP @ 21:19PM; first troponins were negative. Patient left AMI before second troponin results came back. ER staff called patient to return to the hospital. Patient returned next morning at 7:53 with CP, jaw pain, sweating. EKG showed ST elevation V3 and aVF, ST depression V2 and aVL. Patient taken to cath lab emergently. Would 92941 be appropriate in this scenario?

Intravascular lithotripsy performed on external iliac artery and SFA

The provider performed intravascular lithotripsy of left superficial femoral artery, left common femoral artery, and left external iliac artery. Do we code C9764 x 2?

Gastrostomy site aggravation to promote healing

I coded this with unlisted code 49999. I am having trouble finding a similar comparable procedure or code. Can you please help? "TECHNIQUE/FINDINGS: Imaging guidance for device/catheter insertion: Fluoroscopy with permanent image storage. Access device: 5 French dilator. Insertion technique: Around the previous existing catheter site for gastrostomy tube the abdomen was prepped and draped in usual sterile fashion. 1% lidocaine was used to anesthetize the soft tissue around the original gastrostomy site. A 10 French dilator was inserted through the tract and used to confirm placement within the stomach. A short Amplatz wire was then placed into the stomach. Next, the inner portion of the gastrostomy site tunnel was scored and aggravated with the 10 French dilator now scored. Pressure was held at the site to achieve hemostasis."

hydrodissection of nerve

When performing a cemontoplasty, may I report the hydrodissection of nerves as a separate unlisted code, or is it considered part of the main procedure?

33285 and 33286 via new channel and different plane

If the old implantable cardiac monitor is removed, and the insertion tool is used to form a new channel and insert the new monitor in a slightly different plane (but using the same incision), can codes 33285 and 33286 both be reported? I know previous guidance states if performed via same incision then we only report insertion, but I want to confirm about the "new channel" and "different plane".

PM Lead Removal with PVI RFA & LAA Exclusion

"PROCEDURE: Infected cardiac pacemaker lead removal, pulmonary vein isolation, left atrial appendage exclusion. FINDINGS: Two leads fully removed via right atriotomy and opening of the innominate vein + SVC junction. Dr. T of Electrophysiology inspected all parts of the extracted leads. The innominate/SVC was then repaired, and right atrium was closed with suture. (CPT 33243???) // Bilateral pulmonary vein isolation with RFA AtriCure. Left atrial appendage excised and closed. Next, bilateral pulmonary vein isolation with RFA AtriCure was performed with three burns on each side until evidence of transmural lesions. The left atrial appendage was then clamped, resected, and oversewn with 4-0 prolene suture. A small residual appendage remained, however, was felt to be too close to the circumflex artery for further resection." Can PVI RFA and LAA reconstruction can be coded separately? Because EP was there, would this be 93656, or would 33256 be appropriate due to sternotomy? (The add-on codes are not applicable to 33243.) Or, is this bundled into 33243?

Perclose Retrieval During TAVR

"Transaxillary TAVR performed by interventionalist and cardiothoracic surgeon. Right CFA was accessed percutaneously with a 6 French sheath. Two guidewire technique was planned. Access was obtained in the left subclavian artery via cutdown by surgeon and 14 French sheath placed. Valvuloplasty performed. 29 mm Evolut PRO was inserted into the aortic valve. Hemostasis was then obtained in the left subclavian artery with sutures by surgeon. A Perclose device broke off in the right common femoral artery, so this was retrieved via cutdown, and a 7 mm x 7.5 cm Viabahn was placed for hemostasis. A crossover technique was used for this. Hemostasis obtained in the left common femoral artery using a Perclose device." Both physicians are billing 33363-62. What can be billed for the retrieval of the Perclose and the placement of the stent for hemostasis?

Nerve block with RF Ablation

We have a new physician who is performing nerve blocks prior to performing an ablation and documents that the medication was injected "for procedural nerve block and postprocedural pain control". My understanding is that if it is for the procedure we CAN'T code it separately because it's considered bundled, but if it's for post-procedural pain we CAN code for it separately. But I usually see this procedure with moderate sedation or under GA, so this whole nerve block thing is throwing me. Do we, or do we not, code separately for the nerve block when performed in the same setting as a percutaneous radiofrequency ablation procedure?

CPT 61645

Is 61645 used for both mechanical and aspiration thrombectomy? If not what code do we use for aspiration thrombectomy, unlisted?

Subsequent Thrombolysis 37213

On the second day of thrombolysis, the patient is transferred to the suite for a relook angiogram--CPT 37213. Six hours later on the same date of service, the patient is returned to the suite for another relook, without intervention performed. Is CPT 37213 allowed to be billed again?

non/delayed healing wound

The patient has peripheral artery stenosis with non-healing wound. May the non-healing wound be coded (ICD-10-CM) as an ulcer?

Atri clip ligation with a CABG

I’m trying to understand question ID #12035 that states an AtriClip is considered part of a CABG, as well as question ID #9209 that states the same with CPT guidance “If excision or isolation of the LAA by any method, including stapling, oversewing, ligation or plication is performed in conjunction with any atrial tissue ablation and reconstruction (Maze) procedures it is considered part of the procedure”. In the below case, would you code 33999 for the atriclip ligation, and if not, as an ablation or MAZE is not performed as stated in the CPT ref, what ref do I use and or how do I explain this to the surgeon? "DX: Severe symptomatic multivessel CAD OP: CABG x4, left IMA to LAD, radial to PDA (proximal radial to aorta), saphenous vein graft to diagonal-1 (proximal saphenous vein graft to aorta), saphenous vein graft to obtuse marginal (proximal saphenous vein graft to aorta). ADDENDUM PX: Because of the patient's history of atrial flutter and need for anticoagulation, the left atrial appendage ligation was performed utilizing a #40 mm AtriClip."

Ligation and Embolization of separate collateral veins

"Access was gained in both directions. Multiple injections of intravenous contrast were given, and a fistulogram was performed and evaluated. Arterial anastomosis and JA segment stenosis occluding more than 80% of the flow. 6 mm balloon angioplasty was performed. The flow was sluggish. Therefore, a catheter was introduced into the upstream radial artery than 10 cm away from the arterial anastomosis. Digital subtraction imaging revealed patent upstream and downstream radial artery with sluggish flow into the fistula. The more inferior collateral vessel was smaller and more tortuous. This vessel was then coil embolized. Follow-up imaging shows cessation of flow through this collateral vessel. The larger collateral vessel within the arterial limb of the fistula had more laminar and direct flow to the more central circulation and therefore required ligation. The skin anesthetized with lidocaine, and a 1 to 2 cm incision was made overlying this collateral vessel. The vessel was bluntly dissected/ligated." Can 36832, 36909, 36215, 75710 be coded?

Takedown of infected axillary-fem-fem bypass; axillary only

"A patient has an infected left axillary-fem-fem bypass. The surgeon creates a right axillary PTFE graft and attaches it to the existing fem-fem bypass, thereby creating a new axillary-fem-fem bypass. Surgeon then proceeds to take down the left axillary bypass, which is infected. But, only the axillary graft is removed." Surgeon wants to report 35654 for new PTFE axil-fem-fem and 35907 for removal of axillary graft. Is this appropriate since the fem-fem portion was not removed, only a new anastomosis from the axillary to the right femoral graft was added?

Hemodynamic Stress Echo

Is there a specific CPT code or add-on code that should be used when a "hemodynamic" stress echo has been performed? This test is more involved than a conventional stress echo.

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