Corpectomy or ACDF?

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March 3, 2016

Question:
Our orthopaedic spine surgeon recently attended a presentation sponsored by a vendor other than your firm. The surgeon returned to the office and was told that he could bill a corpectomy code in the anterior spine if he documented, “scraping or smoothing of vertebral endplates.” He told me we had missed out on a lot of reimbursement because I was only coding these as a traditional “ACDF” procedure. Was I wrong in how I coded these procedures, and if yes, should I go back and submit a corrected claim?

Answer:
No, you were absolutely correct in not interpreting this work as a corpectomy. This work is included as you correctly stated in the “ACDF” procedure assuming all other appropriate work is performed and documented.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 03/03/16.