Don't miss these new additions – and deletions.
With new CPT® changes becoming effective Jan. 1, 2018, it's not too early to begin familiarizing yourself with ways your day-to-day coding could change. Read on for the rundown on additions, deletions, and revisions to anesthesia codes.
Five New Codes Are Expected to See High Use
The five following codes will be added to your anesthesia coding choices in 2018:
"We'll need to adjust code selection based on objective, regions, and the complexity and work associated with the variables within the new codes," predicts Quita W. Edwards, CPC, CPC-I, COSC, CPMA, REMS, RMB, of Practice Dynamics in Macon, Ga. "Coders will need to be aware of possible precertification and scheduling issues, and will need to pay attention to specific procedures based on the work associated with the new codes.
"I expect the new codes to have a high rate of utilization," Edwards adds.
The following base units were initially recommended for the new anesthesia codes:
"It appears the base units may be reduced and the variables in the payments will be according to the amount of time associated with the new codes," says Edwards.
"For example, less time could be required for screening than upper or lower or ECRP. Therefore, payments are relative to the time and will vary based on the differences in the procedure and description."
Five Deletions Will Mean Adjusting Your Claims
CPT® 2018 will delete five of your current anesthesia code choices, according to early reports. Deleted codes include:
When comparing this list of deletions to the new additions, you see that 00740 and 00810 are no longer needed because they're similar to the work of new codes 00731 and 00811.
"Codes 00740 and 00810 have been on the radar as potentially 'misvalued' services for several years," says Kelly D. Dennis, MBA, ACS-AN, CANPC, CHCA, CPC, CPC-I, owner of Perfect Office Solutions in Leesburg, Fla. "Changing the base value from the current 5 for 00810 to 4 for new code 00811 is one way of reducing payment."
"Remember that 00810 is a code reported when both EGD and colonoscopy are performed during the same anesthetic session," Dennis adds. "Some insurance companies were contractually allowing a small payment for each of these services. Now is the time to re-check your contracts."
Two Revisions Might Be Overlooked
The punctuation and descriptor updates to two familiar codes are so slight you might not notice them at first glance. For example, the only difference in 01680 is the switch from a semicolon after "repair" in the descriptor to a comma.