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Orthopedic Coding Alert

Reader Question:

Do Not Append Modifiers to Subacromial Decompression

Question: How do we code for scope with debridement of bicipital tendon and anterior labral tear along with subacromial bursectomy? Is it correct to report 29822 (Arthroscopy, shoulder, surgical; debridement, limited), 29826 (Arthroscopy, shoulder, surgical; decompression of subacromial space with partial acromioplasty, with coracoacromial ligament [i.e. arch] release , when performed [List separately in addition to code for primary procedure])-59 (Distinct procedural service)?North Carolina SubscriberAnswer: Per the NCCI edits 29826 is not bundled with 29822. You wouldn't need a modifier since +29826 is now an add-on code in this case. You should report 29823 (Arthroscopy, shoulder, surgical; debridement, extensive) as your surgeon is doing a repair of both the labral tear as well as the bicipital tendon.


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