Meniscectomy vs. Meniscal Repair

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October 22, 2015

Question:
Can you please clarify how to report the following procedure: The surgeon documented medial meniscal repair followed by a medial meniscectomy, both performed in the right leg. There are NCCI edits between the two codes showing 29881 payable and 29882 with a Column 2 edit. Do we code the repair or the meniscectomy since both were performed? The surgeon will be paid more if I report the 29882 if I can only report one code. I am not sure if I can report both codes for the same leg or not?

Answer:
Based on your scenario, both the repair and the meniscectomy were performed in the medial compartment. What is missing in your question is the actual documentation. Based on experience, we assume the surgeon attempted a medial meniscal repair that would not hold and converted to a medial meniscectomy. Both procedures were performed in the same compartment, same knee, making CPT code 29881 the most appropriate code.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 10/22/15.