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Difference between 32554 and 32556

Rajesh Posted Sat 09th of February, 2013 15:28:53 PM

32554 - Thoracentesis, needle or catheter, aspiration of the pleural space; without imaging guidance. Is this same as diagnostic thoracentesis? Or fluid obtain is less than 300 cc.

32556 - Pleural drainage, percutaneous, with insertion of indwelling catheter; without imaging guidance. Is this consider as therapeutic drainage more than 300 cc ?


SuperCoder Answered Mon 11th of February, 2013 16:02:37 PM

We are working on this and will get back very soon. Thanks

SuperCoder Answered Tue 12th of February, 2013 14:37:47 PM

The new codes try to clarify the approach and method used during pleural procedures. Thoracentesis (32554) is typically performed via needle aspiration for diagnostic reasons to sample fluid. Pleural drainage involves placement of an indwelling catheter which allows for therapeutic drainage of the site. The volume should not be the emphasis of code selection, but rather the method/approach and intent of treatment. Hope this helps.

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