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Orthopedic Coding Alert

4 Tips Position Your 'Multiple Scope' Codes Perfectly

Here's what you should do when there's no base procedure. If your physician performs several knee arthroscopes on the same patient on the same day, you'll need to understand the multiple-scope rule to determine which procedures you can actually claim -- and get paid for. Important exception: Keep in mind that the multiplescope rule is a Medicare creation. The rule applies mainly to shoulder and knee procedures in the orthopedic practice, for example, but it also affects those of the elbow, wrist, and hip. On the other hand, it does not apply to ankle or metacarpophalangeal (MCP) arthroscopy, and it doesn't affect arthroscopically aided procedures (29851, 29855-29856, 29888-29889, and 29892). In addition, some surgical knee arthroscopies are excluded from the family -- specifically, 29866-29868. Follow these expert-approved tips to clinch your coding every time. 1. Look to CPT for Scope ‘Families' Before worrying about how to apply the multiple scope rule, you must [...]