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General Surgery Coding Alert

Reader Questions:

37229-37233 Warrant Multiple Charge Codes

Question: Our surgeon performed an atherectomy and PTA in the PT, AT, and peroneal arteries, accessed with atherectomy through the tibial/peroneal trunk. How should we code this? California Subscriber Answer: The correct coding for this scenario is 37229 (Revascularization, endovascular, open or percutaneous, tibial/ peroneal artery, unilateral, initial vessel; with atherectomy, includes angioplasty within the same vessel, when performed), and two units of +37233 (Revascularization, endovascular, open or percutaneous, tibial/peroneal artery, unilateral, each additional vessel; with atherectomy, includes angioplasty within the same vessel, when performed [List separately in addition to code for primary procedure]). Here's why: You should not code angioplasty (percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, PTA) separate from the atherectomy. That's because you should report the one code that represents the most intensive service performed in a single lower extremity vessel. All lesser services in that vessel are included in that one code, so the angioplasty is bundled into the atherectomy. [...]


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