Cardiology Coding Alert

Lead Repair: 33218 and 33220 Revisions Address Electrode Repair Coding Conundrum


- Published on Thu, Feb 09, 2012

See how to code lead repair and battery change at same session.

Coding for electrode repair is a little clearer in 2012.

In 2011, your electrode (lead) repair options for a pacemaker (PM) or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) included these two codes:

  • 33218, Repair of single transvenous electrode for a single chamber permanent pacemaker or single chamber pacing cardioverter-defibrillator
  • 33220, Repair of 2 transvenous electrodes for a dual chamber permanent pacemaker or dual chamber pacing cardioverter-defibrillator.

You might see electrode repair for problems like insulation breaks, explained Vicki Pappas, CPC, in her December 2011 presentation "It's Electrifying....EP Coding 2012 Updates" (www.codingconferences.com).

Problem: Based on the wording in the 2011 definitions, neither code seemed appropriate for repair of a single lead in a dual-chamber system. Code 33218 referred to a single lead in a single-chamber system, and 33220 referred to repairing two leads in a dual-chamber system. At one point, AMA's Principles of CPT® Coding [...]

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