May 13, 2021
Our surgeon documented an excision and curettage of a bone cyst from the tibia and the fibula near the ankle joint. I am looking at CPT code 27635 and wondering if this is the correct code and if I report it once or twice.
CPT code 27635 (Excision or curettage of bone cyst or benign tumor, tibia or fibula;) appears to be the correct code based on your inquiry. We are not able to confirm the actual CPT code without reviewing the operative note. The code descriptor reads “tibia or fibula”; this means the code is correct whether the bone cyst or benign tumor is on the tibia or the fibula (meaning there are not different codes for each location). While CPT says “or” meaning it could be reported more than one time, CMS has a MUE (mutually exclusive edit) in place limiting the code to one unit, citing a Date of Service (DOS) Clinical Edit (3) and based on CMS policy. This edit became effective January 1, 2021.
The following citation is extracted from CMS National Correct Coding Initiative Policy Guidelines (page 38 1/28/2021):
“MUEs for HCPCS codes with an MAI of “3” are “per day edits based on clinical benchmarks.” MUEs assigned an MAI of “3” are based on criteria (e.g., nature of service, prescribing information) combined with data such that it would be possible but medically highly unlikely that higher values would represent correctly reported medically necessary services. If contractors have evidence (e.g., medical review) that UOS in excess of the MUE value were actually provided, were correctly coded and were medically necessary, the contractor may bypass the MUE for a HCPCS code with an MAI of “3” during claim processing, reopening, or redetermination, or in response to effectuation instructions from a reconsideration or higher level appeal.”
Additional information on MUE’s may be found in the above link.
*This response is based on the best information available as of 05/13/21.