July 9, 2020
I placed subdural stereo-EEG electrodes for epilepsy monitoring. What is the code for removal of these electrodes? I’ve been billing 61880 for removal of each electrode up to 10 or 13 units depending on how many electrodes I remove. My new coder said she’s not sure we are using the correct code. Please help.
We agree with your coder and there are actually two coding issues here. First, the CPT descriptor for 61880 says “Revision or removal of intracranial neurostimulator electrodes”. Notice the code is specifically for removal of neurostimulator electrodes, not epilepsy monitoring electrodes.
Second, note the word “electrodes” is plural, meaning more than one electrode. So not only are you using an incorrect code but you are also reporting an incorrect number of units.
There really isn’t a good code for removing subdural stereo-EEG electrodes unless you’re lifting a bone flap (61535). In the absence of a craniotomy for removal of the electrodes, you could sum the length of the wound repairs and report a wound repair code (e.g., simple repair 12001) or use an unlisted code (64999).
*This response is based on the best information available as of 7/9/20.