October 27, 2016
When our physician performs an injection into the acromioclavicular (AC) joint of a patient in the office, can we bill 20610 for a large joint arthrocentesis? I say yes because it is in the shoulder, which is listed as an example large joint in the code descriptor.
No. The correct code to bill in this case would be 20605 for an intermediate joint. Although the AC joint is between the shoulder and the clavicle, it is considered an intermediate joint. If you look at the example intermediate joints in the descriptor for 20605 they include: temporomandibular, acromioclavicular, wrist, elbow or ankle, or olecranon bursa. The example large joints listed for code 20610 include: shoulder, hip, knee, subacromial bursa. If the physician performs the AC injection utilizing ultrasound guidance with permanent recording and reporting, then you should report code 20606 instead of 20605. And don’t forget to bill the HCPCS II code for the medication itself.
*This response is based on the best information available as of 10/27/16.