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Otolaryngology Coding Alert

READER QUESTION:

69433 vs. 69436: Look at Anesthesia

Question: Does the description of 69436 (Tympanostomy [requiring insertion of ventilating tube], general anesthesia) mean that an anesthesiologist's services are included in the physician's service?


Kansas Subscriber


Answer: No. Code 69436 doesn't include anesthesia services. The anesthesiologist should bill his own code for that according to the time the patient was anesthetized.

The inclusion of -general anesthesia- in 69436's descriptor is meant to differentiate it from tympanostomy not requiring general anesthesia. For office-based tympanostomy using local or topical anesthesia, the appropriate code is 69433 (Tympanostomy [requiring insertion of ventilating tube], local or topical anesthesia). When a physician performs tympanostomy in an operating room using general anesthesia, you instead report 69436.


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