Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

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Question:

We are just starting to do minimally invasive spine surgery through a tubular retractor system. One of the procedures we do is multi-level decompression through separate skin/fascial incisions. For example, we will do left L5-S1, right L5-S1, left L4-L5, and right L4-L5 procedures through separate incisions. I’ve been told we can bill the decompression code four times since there are four separate incisions. Is this correct?

Answer:

No, this advice is not correct. You will code the case just as you would if performed via an open approach. This means you’ll use a single stand-alone code (e.g., 63047) and any appropriate add-on codes (e.g., 63048) as appropriate.