Spinal Surgery Coding Updates for 2012

Spine

There are now new codes associated with spine surgery, including posterior interbody fusion, posterolateral interbody fusion and discectomy, according to a report from AAOS Now. CPT copyright 2008 American Medical Association. All rights reserved. CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.

The new CPT code combines PLIF and posterior interbody fusion when performed at the same level during the same operative session, according to the report. The new code is CPT 22633, with CPT 22634 reported for each additional interspace. If the procedures are not done together, surgeons can still report them separately.

CPT codes associated with discectomy were also revised to describe only open procedures with direct visualization, removing the inclusion of endoscopically-assisted approaches. Surgeons can continue to use CPT 63020, 63030 or 63035 for open procedures, but not endoscope- or image-guided procedures.

However, CPT codes 0274T and 0275T are now listed as Category III codes to describe "laminotomy/laminectomy (interlaminar approach for decompression of neural elements, with or without ligamentous resection, discectomy, facetectomy or foraminotomy using indirect guidance such as CT or fluoroscopic guidance, with or (computed tomography) without the use of an endoscope."

The information provided should be utilized for educational purposes only. Please consult with your billing and coding expert. Facilities are ultimately responsible for verifying the reporting policies of individual commercial and MAC/FI carriers prior to claim submissions.


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