Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery

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January 14, 2016

Question:
We are thinking about starting an endoscopic skull base surgery program and doing skull base procedures via an expanded endonasal/endoscopic approach. I’ve looked in the CPT book for codes and it looks like CPT 61580-61619 are just what I’m looking for. Is this correct?

Answer:
That’s great that you’re starting a new program! We can help. There is one CPT code for an endoscopic skull base procedure – 62165, Neuroendoscopy, intracranial; with excision of pituitary tumor, transnasal or trans-sphenoidal approach.

However, other procedures that you’ll do such as an endoscopic resection of a clival chordoma are not accurately coded using 61580-61619, as these existing codes are for open procedures. We wrote an article for the AAO-HNS Bulletin about this a few years ago that I think you’ll find helpful. Here are the links:

Sample Prior Authorization, Cover Letter, or Appeal Letter for the Otolaryngologist’s Use of an Unlisted CPT Code for Endoscopic/Endonasal Skull Base Surgery

Coding and Reimbursement Strategies: Using an Unlisted Code for Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery

*This response is based on the best information available as of 01/14/16.

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