Augmentation of Pedicle Screws

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February 18, 2016

Question:
My neurosurgeon recently went to a meeting where someone told him that they bill a vertebroplasty (22521) for injection of cement around pedicle screws at the time of placement. They said as long as there is a separate diagnosis of osteoporosis then it’s ok. Is this true?

Answer:
No. Augmentation of pedicle screws at the time of placement (e.g., 22840, 22842) is not separately reported and is considered inclusive to the instrumentation code billed.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 02/18/16.