Minimally Invasive Laminectomies and Foraminotomies

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Question:

My neurosurgeon did a minimally invasive approach with bilateral paramedian incisions and bilateral L4-5 and L5-S1 laminectomies with foraminotomies for neural decompression and stenosis. Can I bill 63047, 63047-50, 63048 and 63048-50 for this because he made two incisions? He said told me the procedure was more difficult since he’s just learning this technique.

Answer:

Actually, CPT 63047 says “unilateral or bilateral” so it is not appropriate to report 63047 or 63048 with modifier 50. The number of incisions does not dictate the number of CPT codes.