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Nicole Posted Mon 08th of June, 2015 14:03:21 PM

My provider did a tonsillectomy on a patient a couple weeks ago. The patient then came into the office during the global period of the tonsillectomy and had a cauterization of the throat done. I found a CPT code 42970 but am not sure if it is the correct code for the cauterization. Is there a different code that I should use for this or is this code appropriate for the cauterization of the throat?

SuperCoder Answered Tue 09th of June, 2015 05:28:45 AM

You should use the surgery CPT code for tonsillectomy (42820,42821,42825 or 42826 which ever you have taken earlier) and append modifier 78 to the CPT code. 78 modifiers indicates unplanned return to the operating room by the same physician following initial procedure for a related procedure during the postoperative period. This modifier is used in cases of complications resulting from the original surgery.

Nicole Posted Fri 12th of June, 2015 14:28:19 PM

The cauterization done was not in the operating room. The patient came into the office and the cauterization was done there. The 78 would not be appropriate for this. Would the cauterization be included in the global period of the tonsillectomy or is there a code that we can use for this?

SuperCoder Answered Mon 15th of June, 2015 06:23:47 AM

It will be included in the global period.

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