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General Surgery Coding Alert

CPT® 2012:

Capture E/M Billing Opportunity for New Thoracoscopy Codes

Note CMS' surprise 0-day global.Not only did CPT® 2012 change the heading of its "Thoracoscopy" section to include the term "VATS" (video-assisted thoracic surgery), it also debuted three new diagnostic thoracoscopy codes.Read on to see how the new codes allow more specific reporting beginning Jan. 1, as well as how you might gain E/M pay for the service.Specify Lung Biopsy Tissue With New Codes CPT® 2012 deletes 32602 (Thoracoscopy, diagnostic [separate procedure]; lungs and pleural space, with biopsy) and instructs coders to see the following three new codes to "report lung or pleural space biopsy[ies]":32607 -- Thoracoscopy; with diagnostic biopsy(ies) of lung infiltrate(s) (e.g., wedge, incisional), unilateral 32608 -- ...with diagnostic biopsy(ies) of lung nodule(s) or mass(es) (e.g., wedge, incisional), unilateral 32609 -- ...with biopsy(ies) of pleura. Choose the proper code based on whether the biopsy is from lung infiltrate, nodules/masses, or pleura. Do not report 32607 or 32608 more than once per [...]

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