October 13, 2016
When coding for an EVAR, I have a difficult, even impossible time determining if the surgeon places and extension, or if the “limb” she is placing is part of the device. Any help?
You are not alone in this dilemma! The first step is to understand the configuration of the devices, in particular the ones your surgeon is using. For example, code 38402 is for a modular bifurcated device, which means it has a main body with an attached limb, along with a separate modular limb intended to be placed on the opposite side. If this modular piece is attached, surgeons will often document it as an extension. However, it should not be billed as an extension (34825) since it is part of the device. Knowing the brand names of the devices can help you match the device to a code. I recommend working with your surgeon to list the brand of device(s) she uses and match each with a code. This will be helpful in determining when a limb placement is part of the device and when it is a true extension. Also stay tuned for revisions of these codes possibly in 2018.
Please join us in Chicago on October 21-22, 2016 for the SVS sponsored Vascular Coding course with KZA consultant Teri Romano as a faculty member. Can’t make the October course or have too large a staff for all to attend? Contact KZA for an intensive and interactive vascular coding course at your location.
*This response is based on the best information available as of 10/13/16.