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Pleurx Drain

Desirae Posted Fri 09th of August, 2019 10:00:25 AM
Is there a cpt code for draining a pleurx catheter? We have a patient coming in daily to our oupatient facility with Dr's order in hand to have the pleurx catheter drained. 32554 doesn't seem to fit and I'm at a complete loss. Could you please help me. Thank you
SuperCoder Answered Mon 12th of August, 2019 08:18:21 AM

Hello Desirae,

Thank you for your question.


As per the above documentation, we are assuming that the indwelling catheter was already placed into the pleura and the current visit focused on drainage in the outpatient facility.


The above scenario can be reported with  CPT® code 32554 along with modifier-52 (Reduced Services), since, this code (32554) includes the insertion of needle/or catheter between the ribs and space between the lungs and chest wall, but the catheter was already placed, and only the drainage was performed, so appending modifier-52 will be appropriate.


Hope that helps.


Desirae Posted Mon 12th of August, 2019 08:23:41 AM
Yes, the indwelling catheter was already placed. The patient is only coming in to have the system drained by the nurse. Thank you
SuperCoder Answered Tue 13th of August, 2019 08:05:59 AM

Hello Desirae,

Thank you for the additional information.


This procedure was performed by the nurse in the outpatient facility and the insertion of needle or catheter was not performed because an indwelling catheter was already there in place. The procedure performed at your outpatient facility was just the drainage of the fluid via the already placed indwelling catheter.


In this case, you may report CPT® code 32554 (Thoracentesis, needle or catheter, aspiration of the pleural space; without imaging guidance) with modifier 52 (reduced services).



Desirae Posted Wed 14th of August, 2019 11:16:00 AM
The patient is coming to the ER with outpatient orders from her specialist. So the ER nurses are the ones actually performing the draining of the pluerx cathether. I'm being told by our business office that a nurse cannot bill 32554, which is why I contacted you, I've been unable to find documentation on this anywhere. Thank you so much for confirming my initial thought process.
SuperCoder Answered Mon 19th of August, 2019 10:39:02 AM



The patient will be an outpatient, if they are getting emergency department services, so you are advised to report 99211 for the provided service (i.e. draining of pleurx catheter).



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