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Tube Removal

G Posted Thu 03rd of January, 2013 21:11:46 PM

Probing of nasolacrimal duct, with or without irrigation; with insertion of tube or stent '68815' Is there a code for the removal of the tubes? If not can '68899' be coded for the tube removal with office notes?

SuperCoder Answered Mon 07th of January, 2013 19:23:26 PM

The answer may depend on the setting in which your physician removed the tubes. Your ophthalmologist may have to remove tubes from pediatric patients in the operating room under general anesthesia. If this is the case, you may appropriately report 68530 (Removal of foreign body or dacryolith, lacrimal passages) and diagnosis code 930.2 (Foreign body in lacrimal punctum).

Often, however, the physician can remove the tubes in the office. If this is the case, your carrier will likely consider the removal to be part of the E/M service and not a separately billable procedure. Because the global period for the insertion procedure (68815, Probing of nasolacrimal duct, with or without irrigation; with insertion of tube or stent) is 10 days, you can separately report E/M services your physician provides in the office following the post-op period.

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