Does Type of Scope – Rigid or Flexible – Matter for Coding?

Does Type of Scope – Rigid or Flexible – Matter for Coding?

My 27, 2021

Question:
Does 31231 (nasal endoscopy) have to be done with a rigid scope?

Answer:
The CPT descriptor for 31231 is: Nasal endoscopy, diagnostic, unilateral or bilateral (separate procedure). Notice it does not specify whether the scope must be rigid or flexible. That said, CPT makes it clear that the anatomic structures examined in 31231 include the interior of the nasal cavity and the middle and superior meatus, the turbinates, and the sphenoethmoid recess.

Question:
Does 92511 (nasopharyngoscopy) require use of a flexible scope?

Answer:
CPT does not specify what type of scope is used for 92511 (Nasopharyngoscopy with endoscope (separate procedure)).  You could use a rigid or flexible scope.  The most important aspect of 92511 is the anatomic structure(s) examined which would include the nasal cavity, nasopharynx (e.g., adenoids) and Eustachian tube openings.

Question:
Does 31575 (laryngoscopy) require the use of a flexible scope?

Answer:
Yes. The CPT descriptor is “Laryngoscopy, flexible; diagnostic.”  Notice the word “flexible” is in the code language.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 5/27/21.

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