Pain Catheter Placement

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January 10, 2013

Question:

Our surgeons have been instructed that they may report CPT codes 62361 and 62362 for the insertion of pain pumps when performing laparoscopic gastric band procedures. We have been trying to do some research and cannot figure out if these are acceptable codes are not. Can you advise?

Answer:

Thanks for your question. You are correct to do the research. Pain management services by the operating surgeon are inclusive to all surgical procedures. Vendors have provided an entire host of codes for the work associated with the placement of pain catheters not understanding the CPT Global Surgical Package Rules but the work performed by the operating surgeon is not separately reportable. If the anesthesiologist inserts the pain catheter and manages the post operative pain, the anesthesiologist may report the appropriate CPT codes for the services performed.

The intention of CPT codes 62361 and 62361 (defined below) is not to report post operative pain management by the operating surgeon.

CPT codes 62361 and 62362 respectively describe:

Implantation or replacement of device for intrathecal or epidural drug infusion;

62361   non-programmable pump
62362   programmable pump, including preparation of pump, with or without programming

Medicare has created what some consider being bizarre CCI edits bundling spine and epidural injections into a surgical procedure. These edits were rationale for this is inappropriate attempts to report services for nerve blocks or epidural codes for the purpose of post op pain management by the operating surgeon.