Knowledge Base

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PCS coding 02UG3JE

We have guidance from CMS and the manufacturer that MitraClip insertion for the treatment of mitral valve stenosis is to be coded using 02UG3JZ, which makes sense. Our question is, when would qualifier E "Atrioventricular Valve, Left" be appropriate? The qualifier E seems a strange option since the mitral valve is itself the left atrioventricular valve. Any light you can shed on the reasoning and use behind qualifier E for mitral valve supplement would be appreciated.

Mammography Callback

When a patient is asked to come back for additional views following a bilateral screening mammography, the initial screening is categorized as a Birads 0 (incomplete assessment). Should the callback for additional views on these Birads 0 screenings be coded with a screening or diagnostic CPT code? These are generally unilateral. We are coding the first exam as a bilateral screening mammogram (CPT 77067) with diagnosis z12.31 (screening). Should the callback be also coded as 77607 with modifier -52 (reduced) because it is unilateral (not bilateral) with R92.2 (inconclusive mammogram) plus any actual findings from the callback images? Or should this be coded as a diagnostic unilateral (77065) because something seen on that initial screening mammogram led to the need for additional views to end with a Birads score 1-6? What would you consider asymptomatic: just the first screening, or is the callback for additional views still asymptomatic until the Birads score 1-6 is determined after the callback and not at a Birads 0?

Base imaging procedure codes for 76376 & 76377

Am I correct in saying that the "base imaging procedure codes" for 76376 and 76377 are CT scans (but not CTAs), MRIs (but not MRAs), ultrasound, angiogram S&I (NOT PET), or any other nuclear medicine code?

MD stented an LVAD graft with a VSD Occluder device?

What would you bill if physician put a stent in an existing LVAD graft using a VSD occluder device? "A 9 French x 80 cm Amplatzer delivery sheath was advanced through the 12 French sheath over the Amplatz SS wire into the outflow graft. Sheath was aspirated and flushed. Wire was removed, and a 14 mm muscular VSD occluder device (after being prepped) was advanced into the outflow graft. Together with the sheath, the device deployment tool was partially retracted, and the VSD occluder was deployed such that the distal half was situated in the proximal outflow graft and the proximal half in the ascending aorta. The deployment tool was removed, and the delivery sheath was removed over wire. A 5 French pigtail catheter was then advanced to the left ventricle where a power injector was used to perform a ventriculogram, which showed complete exclusion of the LVAD outflow graft by the VSD device. Catheter was then removed over J wire."

Femoral Pseudoaneurysm

"Skin incision was made over the groin. We got proximal control of the common femoral artery and gave 10,000 of heparin. We then opened the pseudoaneurysm, removed all the old clot, and got down to the top of the artery and closed with 4-0 prolene suture in a crisscross fashion. Hemostasis looked excellent. We placed vancomycin powder into the old pseudoaneurysm right on top of the artery and then closed with multiple layers of vicryl and skin clips." One coder would like to report code 35141-52, while another coder would like to report code 35226. How would you code this and why?

Peri-procedural TEE by Anesthesia during prep for PVI's/SVT's

EP physician report with full detail of pulmonary vein isolation. "Central aortic pressure monitoring, right atrial and left atrial pacing and recording, His bundle recording, intracardiac echocardiography, transseptal cardiac catheterization, 3-dimensional catheter mapping. Preop diagnosis: Recurrent paroxysmal atrial fibrillation despite beta blocker drug trials. Description: The patient was brought to the EP laboratory in the postabsorptive and nonsedated state while in NSR. General endotracheal anesthesia was established." In addition, there is a separate anesthesia report for an intra-procedural (done after patient was intubated, prior to PVI ablation) TEE with full findings. Which TEE code should I use? Can I charge ICE and TEE? We have noticed that a commercial insurance company is only reimbursing us for 93312 when billed with other procedures, so I want to make sure we are billing correctly.

U/S guided anesthetic injection into thrombolphlebitic laser ablated vein

"Under ultrasound guidance, a needle was directed into thrombosed great saphenous vein, and lidocaine was injected into three different segments of this obliterated vein. Tumescent anesthetic administrated into thrombophlebitic segments of the laser ablated right great saphenous vein." I could not find a code for this. Should I use unlisted?


In previous questions it was stated to use code 62311 for the injection for cisternogram. Now, with new codes for 2017, would the correct codes be 62322/62323 depending on if imaging was used? Or would you suggest another code?

MRI of the Brain and Internal Auditory Canals

We had a patient who came in with an MRI script for the brain and internal auditory canals. The MRI was completed, and the MRI report that was dictated reads: "MRI of the brain and internal auditory canals w/o contrast". Is it correct to report code 70551 only once, or is there a more appropriate way to code for this procedure?

Conscious Sedation

We are a radiology group performing conscious/moderate sedation. We are documenting start time, stop time, who provided the sedation and procedure, and pre and post sedation assessment and monitoring. Since we are not billing for the sedation drugs and it is documented in the patient record, is it necessary to document the sedation drugs and the dosage?

Repair of EVAR with deployment of 2 Gore Excluder Limbs

This patient developed a type III endoleak due to component separation of the left iliac limb from a prior EVAR for I71.4. To repair this, our docs first used an Excluder limb across both graft defects followed by a second Excluder limb in the patient's iliac to bridge the separation of components. I would normally code this with 34825, 75953. However, I am not sure how to code for a second graft in this case, or if I can code for it at all because I am not positive that the second graft is considered a separate vessel and qualifies for the 34826. There is no mention of it being placed in either the external or internal iliac.

93655 vs. 93657

We have a question related to charging multiple units of 93655 and 93657 and what supports the definition of “the additional areas”. Are the GP ridge and ligament of Marshall considered a separate area, or are they included with the pulmonary vein isolation? The department believes it to be a separate area, and physician dictates as such, but this would be more than two areas of 93655. The department also believes the roofline is an additional area from pulmonary vein isolation. Thoughts?

Coil Embolization

Procedures: 1) Coil embolization of left forearm AV cephalic vein. 2) Balloon-assisted maturation of left forearm Cimino AV fistula with cephalic vein. 3) Completion of left forearm AV fistula. What are the codes? Please help; I'm new to vascular coding. 

33263 vs 33264 Previous Question (8663) Clarification

This is regarding your response to question ID 8663, where clarification was asked for regarding the scenarios listed in the CPT Codebook for conversion of an ICD system to a biventricular system. Your response was that we would always code biventricular ICD changes/upgrades to 33264. I can understand that if a patient comes down with a biventricular ICD with a RV and LV lead only and only the generator is changed. But, we have always coded an ICD upgrade (patient comes down with a dual chamber ICD, the generator is changed, and an LV lead is added) as 33263 and 33225. We based this on a reference from your coding book stating to choose codes based on leads placed not generator type. Wouldn't this also more correctly capture the work done?

Amplatzer for pseudoaneurysm of aortic arch

Our facility is not sure which CPT code would be appropriate to capture the use of Amplatzer for pseudoaneurysm of the aortic arch. We have only decided on 93799. Please advise.


For intraoperative ultrasound guidance code 76998, does the radiologist have to be present to charge it on the professional side? Our facility has the ultrasound tech and another surgeon in the OR. The radiologist interprets the films only.

Lower Extremity Intervention

Bilateral angiogram was performed (75716). Intervention was performed on left leg; no intervention on right leg. Can we bill a catheter placement (36245-36248) for the right leg since no intervention was performed? I am getting different answers from coders.

Revision of AV Graft

Would it be correct to report codes 36832 and 35236 for this AV graft procedure? "I ligated the graft with 2-0 silks and then divided the graft and traced it down to the venous anastomosis. The vein was controlled proximally, distally, tied, and then divided. Then I harvested the piece of vein segment that I had excised and removed it from the previous anastomosis so I could use it as a patch later. I then turned my attention to the antecubital incision, which I then reopened and dissected down to the level of the venous graft. I then pulled the venous graft through the subcutaneous tunnel back into the antecubital incision. I then dissected down to the level of the arterial limb. Once I was in position there I ligated the graft again, divided the graft, and then I exposed the brachial artery proximally and distally. I heparinized the patient with 6000 units of intravenous heparin. After adequate circulation, I clamped the brachial artery proximally and distally, removed the hood of the graft, and then used a piece of vein from the venous anastomosis as a patch, which I sewed in place with a running 6-0 Prolene."

IVR Angioplasty Declot AV Dialysis Graft

"With real-time ultrasound guidance, the loop graft was accessed in the outflow direction. tPA was administered, and balloon angioplasty was then performed throughout the graft and outflow basilic vein. Access was obtained in the inflow direction, and a 7 French sheath was placed. Catheter wire passed the brachial artery where an arteriogram was performed. Balloon sweep embolectomy was performed across the arterial anastomosis. Fistulogram was performed. 8 and 10 mm angioplasty was performed within the subclavian vein. Wires, catheters, and sheaths were removed, and compression was held for hemostasis." Would code 36905 be the correct CPT code for this procedure?

Medtronic Single Pass Lead Gen Change

We removed and replaced a generator for a Medtronic Single Pass Lead (5038 CapSure VDD-2). My understanding is that this is a single lead system with a sensing electrode in the atrium and a pacing electrode in the ventricle. The lead bifurcates near the generator and connects into both ports of a dual lead generator. Would we bill 33227 or 33228 for the removal and replacement of this generator - single lead system but dual lead function and connections?

Percutaneous balloon venous angioplasty of lower extremities

Balloon PTA of venous lower extremity, right and left external iliacs, common iliacs, and common femoral veins with AngioJet thrombectomy and IVUS bilaterally prior to intervention. Code 37248 is reported only once. Since these vessels are contigious, do you report code 37249 x 1 or x 5? Thrombectomy can only be coded once per day no exceptions, and the IVUS is coded with one initial and one additional. If I report code 37249 more than once it hits an MUE edit. Do we just override and send the operative note to indicate the PTA was performed on different veins since the rules are different for venous than arterial?

Fem to Fem ARTERY bypass with grafft

What would be the appropriate CPT code for fem to fem artery bypass with graft?

Thrombectomy with Bypass

I have a case where a patient came in and an open embolectomy of the brachial artery was performed (34101), during which they were able to remove large amounts of thrombus. The wounds were closed and then percutaneous angiography showed there was occlusion at the level of the elbow. They then decided to perform a brachial-ulnar bypass graft (35523) and proceeded to do so via new and separate incisions. Is there any issue billing these two procedure codes together since they were performed via separate incisions?

Charging for sedation when Fentanyl is only given

There is a discussion at our facility regarding whether or not we can charge for sedation if only fentanyl is given. Typically both fentanyl and versed are administered to patients, but on occasion we will only give fentanyl. Do we still charge for sedation?

RPLV embolization

We don't normally perform cardiac procedures, so I'm VERY unsure here: "The case was done on an emergent basis, as there was coronary perforation during cardiac catheterization. A program microcatheter was advanced over the existing cardiology wire into the RPLV coronary branch. Injection demonstrated large active extravasation from this branch. The perforation was successfully treated with three 2 mm while coils. Repeat injection demonstrated no further active extravasation from the branch." Is the correct cath code 93456? I can't locate how to code the embolization. 

64530 and/or 64420 used with chest tube placement for patient comfort

For patient comfort, one of our new radiologists sometimes does an intercostal nerve block (64420) or a celiac plexus injection (64530) during chest tube placement, biliary drain placement, and like procedures. Codes 64530 and 64420 seem to be primary pain procedures. When he uses them in this way, are they considered “part of the procedure” and unbillable? The radiologist would like to know if these injections are billable for his professional side. I work for the hospital and would also like to know if billable for the hospital side.

MitralClip 33418

I need clarification on billing for MitraClip. I have an interventional cardiologist and a cardiothoracic TP surgeon performing MitraClip. Can they both bill with -62 modifier, or should one be an assistant? (They each have their own assistant involved in the case as well.) 

Cardiologist and Cardioelectrophysiologist

Can we bill Medicare and other insurances for these two types of physicians on the same day without it bundling together? Or are they considered to be part of the same group/specialty?

Evaluation of cholecystostomy catheter tract

Would you report code 47531 for the evaluation of the tract? "HISTORY: Patient pulled out existing cholecystostomy catheter. PROCEDURE: The patient was placed in the supine position on the fluoroscopic examination table. The right abdomen and skin overlying the catheter tract were cleaned and draped in usual sterile fashion. A small dilator was placed in the peripheral aspect of the tract, and contrast evaluation was performed, demonstrating no residual catheter tract. At this time, the procedure was canceled and sterile dressing applied. The patient tolerated the procedure well without immediate consultation. IMPRESSION: No residual tract; catheter not replaced." My thoughts are that code 47531 states injection procedure for cholangiography existing access. It does not state what is required to be injected (catheter vs. tract). 

Diagnostic Angiography at time of intervantion

I thought you had a great article on the definition of "known pathology" versus diagnostic imaging. My co-workers and I disagree on what is a known pathology and what we find on angiography. If the patient has a known GI bleed confirmed on a nuclear medicine scan, are the injections considered diagnostic imaging? I personally believe these to be confirmation shots, but I may be wrong. Do all diagnostic findings need to be confirmed by CTA/MRA or angiography to be considered diagnostic as in no other imaging is a diagnostic image?

Cath placements with venous stent placement

The physician accessed the right and left common femoral veins and performed angioplasty in the right and left common iliac vein and the left external iliac. We reported codes 37248 and 37249 x 2. Would you also report codes 36005 x 2 or 36000 x 2?

IVUS post-stent sizing

Patient had recent MI and residual CTO LAD. Had RCA stented during MI, but brought back a week later for staged intervention for the LAD. Had one DES placed to the 100% occlusion. Op report mentions, "I was concerned about a size in the most distal part of stent and proximal LAD. I therefore performed IVUS which verified that this was at least a 3.5 mm vessel." Then used balloon to dilate the stented segment and placed another DES and dilated the stent aggressively to close to 3.5 mm. MD calls it ''IVUS post-stent deployment for sizing'' in op title. Would IVUS be coded in this instance? Can IVUS be coded with C9600?

Coiling a vein graft

I am billing a left heart catheterization and stent to the RCA. The physician mentions in his note that the "SVG-RCA coiled due to competitive flow". I have not seen this before. Is there a code for this?

Ablation not done after ICE

"Patient has atypical A-flutter. ICE was done to LAA to assess for thrombus. No thrombus was found, but there was evidence of moderate to large circumferential pericardial effusion with evidence of septal bounce. Procedure was terminated." I get 93653 with modifier -54, but can I bill for ICE as well? I bill for physician, but the hospital would like to know what they can bill for too.

Cath Lab procedure log

If a provider wants to use the cath lab procedural log (which he signs) in conjunction with a written note specifying his findings as his procedure report, is that acceptable documentation for a cath lab procedure? Or is a full physician authored procedure report required? If a full report is required, is there a reference that I can give to the physician to support the need for a full report?


A patient has thrombolysis of the AV graft. The next day the patient returns, and contrast injection is performed via the indwelling thrombolysis catheter, as well as angioplasty of a stenosis in the graft. Would the correct code be 36905 for the follow-up injection and angioplasty of the graft?

Uterine fibroid embolization, both sides, different arteies

I am reviewing a report describing embolization of the right uterine artery and left ovarian artery for uterine fibroids. Per anatomy, I know that the uterine artery usually connects with the ovarian artery, but in this case, would I capture two embolization codes (37243, 37243-59)? Or would it be considered the same surgical field as your case of the month describes?

Subcutaneous Generator Removal

Patient had post implant pain at ICD site. Generator and lead (33272) were removed. Nothing was placed. What code would be used for the removal of the SICD?

Nuclear Medicine Lymph Gland Non-Imaging

"Nuclear medicine breast SCINTIGRAPHY scan is obtained. Medial distal left thigh above the knee was injected with five mCi of Tc-99m filtered sulfur colloid. The purpose of injection was for identification of a sentinel node chain. Radiotracer is seen in the left inguinal lymph node chain." Nuclear Medicine is coding it on technical (facility side) as follows: A9451, 78195, 38790, 96374. I think it should only be coded with A9541 and 78195, since CPT code 78195 includes the work of injection of the radioactive material and scanning of the region. Thoughts?

Prior catheter-based study

How far back does the prior catheter-based study have to be to allow us to report a diagnostic study with the interventional?

Attempted TAVR vs. Valvuloplasty

I am coding for a hospital facility. Patient was scheduled for a TAVR procedure; however, the procedure was aborted because the aortic valvuloplasty balloon would not cross the valve. Do I code the TAVR procedure with a -74 modifier appended, or do I code the successful procedures leading up to the TAVR, such as left heart catheterization, etc.?

93454 vs. 93458-74

"Hospital outpatient cath lab patient scheduled for diagnostic heart catheterization and coronary angiograms. Selective right and left coronary angiograms performed. The catheter was placed in the left ventricle, but unable to obtain LV hemodynamics due to arrhythmias." Per code description for 93458, heart pressures must be documented. Since no pressures were obtained, would we report code 93454 or 93458-74?

Pressure measurement with catheter during LE revasc

Can a physician report code 36625 for checking arterial pressures pre- and post-stenosis during a lower extremity revascularization case?

CPT 37249 - MUE x 2 - Per Extremity?

"Patient with DVT right-sided common femoral vein, popliteal vein, common iliac vein, and left-sided common femoral vein and common iliac vein. Placement of 50 cm lysis catheter in vena cava via left-sided popliteal and right-sided popliteal posterior approach (37212, 36010-50). Balloon angioplasty of IVC (37248). Balloon angioplasty right-sided common iliac vein, external iliac vein, common femoral vein. Balloon angioplasty left-sided common femoral vein, common iliac vein." Would we submit code 37249 x 2 per extremity? 

Leg vein thombolyis/ thrombectomy

I am not sure how you would code this case. I used 76937 x 2, 75822, 36005-50, 37187-50, and 37212-50XU. Where the tips of catheters are is confusing or just not documented well. “Bilateral knees were prepped. US guidance into patent bilateral small patent saphenous veins with images sent to PACS. Venograms were performed, showing extensive thrombus of deep veins bilaterally from upper calf to pelvis. Third puncture was done under ultrasound in medial right gastrocnemius vein. With fluoroscopy, guidwire was advanced into pelvis, and bilateral sheaths advanced at the knees. A glide catheter was then advanced to left CIV and EIV bilaterally. Venogram showed occlusive thrombus in iliac system with collateral seen to the retroperitoneum, which also has thrombus. A very diminutive IVC was seen to the RA. Possis catheter was advanced for mechanical thrombecomy on veins from knee to pelvis bilaterally. Bilateral long infusion cath was advanced over wire and left across residual thrombus for tPA infusion overnight.” 

Empiric cavotricuspid isthmus ablation for atrial flutter

My provider wants to report code 93653 for an empiric cavotricuspid isthmus ablation for atrial flutter, but I thought code 93653 was just for treatment of SVT. Thoughts?


"Open thrombectomy/revision of AV fistula in upper arm. Femoral vein was tunneled (U loop) up from the thigh, across the abdominal wall up to the deltopectoral region, and was bridged with Gore-Tex." Would this simply be 36833?

Basilar Artery Embolization

We are having some confusion with codes 61624 and 61626. Which code would be used when doing an embolization of the basilar artery? I feel that 61624 should be used since the basilar artery is part of the blood supply system for the brain and CNS. My coworker feels 61626 should be used since a basilar aneurysm codes out to diagnosis code I72.5 (precerebral aneurysm). Do you have any tried and true info regarding which arteries are included in 61624 and which arteries are included in 61626?

75625 vs. 75716

We have been coding 75716 for aortic angiography when the aorta, iliacs, and femorals are the only documented results (no visceral results). If catheter is placed infrarenally, and abdominal angiography is performed, would that change the code to 75625? The same results are documented (peripheral only), but the catheter is clearly stated to be located infrarenally. 

Subclavian artery stenosis

What would be the appropriate ICD-10 code for subclavian artery stenosis? I70.208, I70.8, or something else?

Ultrasound Lung

My provider is doing an actual ultrasound to measure water in lung, not for effusion. Is code 76604 appropriate for this limited ultrasound?

ICD Upgrade

If a physician replaces the generator and the lead, would you code this as a new ICD?

Transjugular liver biopsy with pressures

Would the correct coding be 36012, 37200, 75970, and 75889?? Or would it be 36011?? Also, does it need a reduced service modifier for pressures?? "Using 1% lidocaine as local anesthesia, real-time ultrasound-guided micropuncture of the right internal jugular vein was performed, with hard copy documentation of sonographic venous patency. A 5 French sheath was placed over a guidewire, and selective catheterization of the right hepatic vein was performed with a Bentson wire and Kumpe catheter. Over-the-wire exchange was performed with placement of a long sheath into the right hepatic vein, through which a balloon occlusive catheter was placed. Free hepatic vein pressures, hepatic wedge pressures, and right atrial pressures were obtained. The biopsy device was then placed through the sheath, and three 18 gauge core biopsies from the right liver were obtained. The samples were placed in formalin. FINDINGS: Pressures (mm Hg): Free right hepatic vein: 7/7/7; Wedged right hepatic vein: 12/12/12; Right atrium: 11/9/9."

CPT code for angio of native internal mammary artery to check for patency?

My provider accessed the right femoral artery and selectively advanced the catheter into the left and right coronary arteries. A pigtail cath was then used to cross the aortic valve. The left ventricle was injected and imaged. The left internal mammary artery was then selectively cannulated and injected to ascertain its suitability as a potential bypass conduit. We have coded 93458 for the left heart cath. How would we correctly code the cath placement and imaging of the left internal mammary artery?

Cardioversion with TEE

The patient was scheduled for a cardioversion (92960) with TEE. The TEE was performed (and charged), but due to the results the cardioversion was cancelled. Can the cardioversion still be charged and coded with a modifier for cancelled procedure?

Aborted Radiology Inpatient Procedures

We have a patient who presented to Radiology for a thoracentesis/paracentesis/abscess drain placement, and following the initial scan it was determined the procedure couldn't be done or didn't need to be done. Should we be charging for the intended procedure and adding the ICD-10-PCS code for as far as the procedure went (ultrasound), or should we be doing something else?

Carotid to carotid bypass coding with graft

I performed a right CCA to left CCA retropharyngeal bypass with Dacron graft and a left CCA to left SCA bypass with Dacron graft the day prior to a TEVAR for a very complex dissection. I believe the code for the CCA to SCA bypass is 35606, but I am unable to find the correct code for the CCA to CCA bypass with graft. Once again this was done the day prior, so I don’t think that code 33891 fits.

Thrombectomy of AVG and Thrombectomy of native artery

"Patient with brachial axillary AV graft, occluded. Open thrombectomy of AVG performed with return of clot, but couldn't get forward flow, decided to "take the graft down". Bovine patch angioplasty axillary vein. Multiple attempts at thrombectomizing the brachial artery were unsuccessful. Bovine patch angioplasty brachial artery. Moved to radial artery and performed open thrombectomy with return of forward flow. Arteriotomy was closed with suture." Would it be correct to use 36831, 34111-59, and 37799 (removal of AV graft, not infected)? OR is the entire arm the "dialysis circuit" even though the radial artery was not part of the AVG? What about patch angioplasty? Is that included in the closure of artery/vein? If it is used to make the lumen larger could you bill for it then?

Unable to do PVI Ablation-only Intracardiac Echo performed

How would you recommend we code for a procedure where a PVI ablation for a-fib was the planned procedure, but after intracardiac echo there was an IVC dissection, and so procedure was aborted? "While advancing the intracardiac U/S catheter into the inferior vena cava, I felt some resistance. I injected contrast through the sheath, which revealed a dissection of the inferior vena cava. I withdrew sheath a fem cm inferior & injected again-this confirmed presence within the true lumen of the IVC with no additional flow into the dissection. Protamine 50mg was given as a slow IV push." Sheaths were pulled after more observation. An EP study was never performed, nor an ablation. We can't code 93662 without a main procedure code. Do you recommend coding 93656-74 with 93662, or how would you advise us to code this scenario for a hospital outpatient encounter?

Artery repair after percutaneous procedure

I have seen this scenario more than a few times now, and I am wondering if 35226 is appropriate to code. "Patient has intervention on contralateral leg, and a Mynx closure device failed on ipsilateral side where access was. After pressure was held for 20 minutes, the surgeon had to convert to general anesthesia. A femoral cutdown was done to stop the significant bleeding with direct suture control of the puncture site in the common femoral." Would this be separately billable, or would you say that is incidental and included in the procedure?

ECMO Coding

I hope you’re having a nice summer! I know we get a question we can submit as part of our membership, but I’m not sure if this will end up being more than one question based on your answer, ha! I am trying to understand PCS coding for ECMO. In CPT there are separate codes for peripheral insertion and sternotomy insertion but they both map out to: 5A15223-Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, Continuous which maps out to DRG 003. I don’t understand this. Is there another code in PCS for peripheral ECMO that I’m missing? I read and re-read the intro in the chapter of your book talking about the different types of ECMO and it seems like there should be more than one option in PCS.

Mandible Specimen

I have a report for a mandible specimen (six images of resected mandible were obtained). Is it appropriate to report code 76098? If the radiologist is not the one performing the resection, is he/she able to code for the specimen at all?

Appendix B codes and moderate sedation

Many of the codes listed in Appendix G have been moved to Appendix B with a bulls eye strike through symbol meaning moderate sedation would not be reported with the code. Example 93458 is in Appendix B with a bulls eye strike through symbol. According to the notes in the index, moderate sedation would not be separately reported when performed at the same session by the same individual. I interpret this to mean that we cannot report 93458 and 99152 together for either the technical or professional component. Am I interpreting this correctly?

33010 vs 33015

Would you use code 33010 or 33015 for the following example? "Sheath Introducer Kit was inserted into the Pericardium. The sheath kit was removed. Pericardial tap performed & cath inserted into the pericardium. Removed fluid 600cc. Cath sewn in with JP drain. I'm confused because your 2017 book states Use code 33010 when pericardiocentesis is performd through a catheter and left in place for conintuous drainage., but encoderpro's lay terms for 33010: physician places a long needle below the sternum and directs it into the pericardial space.; When fluid is aspirated, the physician may advance a guidewire through the needle into the pericardial space and exchange the needle over the guidewire for a drainage cath. Lay terms 33015 ;When pericardial fluid flows back through the needle, the physician passes a guidewire through the needle into the pericardial space. The physician exchanges the needle over the wire for an indwelling drainage catheter. The physician attaches the catheter to a drainage bag, sutures the indwelling catheter into place on the chest wall, and dresses the wound."

ECA and ICA Endarderectomies

Should we bill endarderectomy x 2 of the ECA and ICA on the same side? "The endarterectomy was initiated. This was created in a subintimal plane in the common carotid artery. The plaque was divided at the proximal point of the resection using the endarterectomy scissors. The endarterectomy was then extended out into the internal carotid artery. The distal portion of the plaque was carefully debrided. After removing this, there was no identifiable flap of tissue in the more distal ICA. An eversion type of endarterectomy was created out into the external carotid artery. There was good backbleeding through the external carotid artery. After completing the endarterectomy, the entire system was irrigated with heparinized saline. After assuring no residual debris at the endarterectomy site, a Core Matrix patch was chosen for the angioplasty. Using a 6-0 Prolene suture, the patch angioplasty was initiated at the distal ICA. A continuous suture of the 6-0 Prolene was used to secure the patch angioplasty circumferentially."


If a physician accesses the juxta anastomosis retrograde and does a fistulogram, and then, because of needing to replace a dialysis catheter, he does a venogram (75860) as well as angioplasty of innominate vein and SVC in the central segment due to stenosis, would he use codes 36901, 36907, and 36581? Or are codes 36901, 37248, 37249, and 75860 appropriate instead?

Axillary vein to femoral vein bypass

We did a left axillary vein to femoral vein bypass using a Gore-Tex graft. Since the bypass graft codes are specific to arterial bypasses, would I use unlisted code 37799?

TAVR with Right Ventricular Pacing

We bill for the hospital, and we were wondering when we bill a TAVR (33361). Can we bill for the right ventricular pacing (93612), or is it also included in the TAVR code?

Cisternogram with Spect

I have a question about the nuclear medicine aspect of the cisternogram. Everything from the lumbar puncture procedure in which they inject DTPA is fine as far as coding. "TECHNIQUE: Following the intrathecal administration, at the level of the lumbar spine, of 1.17 mCi of In-111 DTPA, planar scintigraphic images of the brain were recorded at 24, 48, and 72 hours post radiotracer administration. SPECT imaging was obtained at 24 and 48 hours post radiotracer administration. This study was supervised and viewed for interpretation by the staff and resident physicians. FINDINGS: There is no increased accumulation of radiotracer demonstrated within the ventricles. There appears to be normal ascent of radiotracer over the hemispheres." How would the nuclear medicine portion be coded? They are coding 78647, so medical necessity is an issue. Is SPECT an integral part of doing a cisternogram?

Holter Monitor Date of Service Reporting

What is the correct date of service to report for Holter monitors and Zio Patch monitors? Our department cannot seem to agree whether the date of service reported should be the date the device is put on the patient, the date the device is taken off the patient, or the date the data is read and interpreted. We bill the physician side only, not the facility.

Left Translumbar AAA Endoleak Embolization

How would I code for a pseudoaneurysm repair using only a Chiba needle and the placement of glue? Since 37242 is on the device intensive procedure listing, no device from the list is used. There are no HCPCS codes for Chiba needles. Would we just code the radiology CPT code and 36002?

Chest 71010 following Lung Biopsy 77012/32405

We have been questioned for charging a chest film (71010) post lung biopsy (77012/32405). In your Diagnostic Radiology Coding Reference it discusses that chest film is not separately billable to assess potential complications or completeness of a procedure (e.g., post intubation, post catheter placement). Post lung biopsy chest is not listed. I searched for an NCCI edit between 32405 and 71010 but did not find one. Are we incorrect in charging for the chest 1-view post lung biopsy? Would this be considered assessing possible complications and therefore be included in the biopsy charge?

Injection for 70390

Is any injection code that needs to be reported along with code 70390 (sialography)?

Peripheral Intervention & Cath Placements

When a peripheral intervention (37226) is performed, can you bill a catheter placement (36245-36248)?

PTA to improve poorly maturing RT upper arm cephalic vein fistula.

"Under ultrasound guidance, a 21 gauge needle was advanced into the fistula just above the arterial anastomosis. Over guidewire, a 5 French catheter was placed. Through the catheter, contrast was injected with imaging over the arm and chest. Each was made over a guidewire for a 6 French sheath. Through the sheath, a 6 and then 7 mm balloon were used to dilate the length of the body of the fistula from just above the arterial anastomosis to the upper humerus level. A completion angiogram was performed. The sheath was removed. Manual compression was applied to achieve hemostasis. Findings: Initial ultrasound examination showed a diffusely small, immature right upper arm brachial artery to cephalic vein fistula with two focal severe stenoses in the inflow and body segment. The body of the fistula measured less than 5 mm throughout. Impression: Balloon-assisted maturation of immature right upper arm cephalic vein fistula with dilatation up to severe stenoses as well as length of the cannulation segment." The physician reported codes 37799 and 76937, but shouldn't it be codes 36902 and 76937 instead? 

Exchange of biventricular ICD for a biventricular pacemaker

"Patient's biventricular defibrillator is removed, and a biventricular pacemaker is inserted. Existing leads are reused or capped. No new leads are inserted." We are reporting code 33221 for insertion of a pacemaker with existing multiple leads and 33241 for removal of the defibrillator generator only. How do we indicate that this is a biventricular pacemaker?

Profundoplasty with V-Y Advancement

Our doctor is now performing profundoplasty with VY advancement. Example 1: "The back wall of the profunda and the superficial femoral arteries were trimmed with Potts scissors and then sewn together with running 6-0 prolene sutures." Example 2: "A Y-advancement of the profunda branches was done by bringing together the lateral and medial edges of the two main branches of the profunda with 6-0 prolene sutures in a running fashion." Sometimes this is performed in conjunction with a graft placement; sometimes this is performed with an endarterectomy. How would this be coded? Would this be reported with 35226? Or unlisted code 37799? Or, is this just included in whatever other procedure they are performing?

Replaced Right Hepatic Artery

"A 5 French sheath was placed and attached to a heparinized saline infusion. Exchange was made for an SOS catheter, and selective DSA was performed in the superior mesenteric artery. Superselective catheterization of the replaced right hepatic artery was then performed using a 3 French Progreat microcatheter and wire." Can a catheter reach the right hepatic artery from the SMA, or does it need to go through the celiac artery?

Removal of Trapped Blood

What CPT code would I use for this case done in the OP Wound Clinic? "DIAGNOSIS: Venous insufficiency with symptomatic varicose veins, right. PROCEDURE: Ultrasound-guided thrombectomy, multiple veins right leg(s). The veins were marked using ultrasound with the patient in the standing position. The patient was placed on the treatment table and the right leg(s) was cleaned. Varicose veins were visualized using ultrasound. With the veins localized using the probe, a skin wheal of buffered 1% lidocaine was created at each site.Thrombi were localized using ultrasound and then using an 18 gauge needle, were evacuated. A total of 4 thrombi were removed. Compression was then applied to the treated areas and the patient returned home in good condition. PLAN: Next procedure recommended: USG sclera."

Pipeline Stent 61635 vs 61624

Can you tell me which CPT code (61635 or 61624) is appropriate for the following report? "Using standard technique a 4.75 x 15 mm Pipeline flex embolization device was deployed across the neck of the right paraclinoid internal carotid artery aneurysm proximal to the origin of the PCA and terminating in the midportion of the cavernous segment of the internal carotid artery. After placement, stagnation was noted in the aneurysm, and there was excellent apposition of the device to the parent vessel..."

ICD-10 for Intracardiac Mass

We have run into a conundrum among the coders in our clinic, and we are wondering if you could help us in assigning a diagnosis for "intracardiac mass". Here is what the echo report states: "Normal right ventricular size and systolic function; large right ventricular free floating mass consistent with thrombus or tumor extends through the pulmonic valve; pulmonary arterial systolic pressure estimate 40 mmHg. Discussed with Dr. XXX: intracardiac mass is reportedly known." I appreciate your help.


Is there ever a time you would report code 37252 more than once? The code says "initial non-coronary vessel", and MUE is 1 with MAI 2.

Segments of the right hepatic artery

Physician selected segment VI and segment VII of the posterior division right hepatic artery. How do you code it? Is it just 36247? Or is it 36247, 36248, 36248?

Code for LHC w/coronaries w/imaging of the LIMA for potential graft

What is the proper coding for a left heart catheterization with LVEDP measurement, selective coronary angiography, and LIMA angiography (selective or non-selective) for potential graft use in a patient WITHOUT prior bypass surgery or radiation therapy?

34808 or 37242

When would you use 34808 over 37242 in the iliac artery?

35305 & 34203 & 35256

"Patient previously underwent lower extremity fasciotomy and pop-tibial embolectomy and thrombectomy. Three days later he returns to OR for left tibial artery thrombectomy, proximal tibial artery endarterectomy, and repair of the tibial artery wounds with saphenous vein. Exposure made left tibial artery at ankle, patch removed #2 Fogarty catheter, and thrombus removed. Decision made to explore left popliteal artery. Pop artery clamped proximally and tibial artery distally. Arteriotomy made from pop artery into posterior tibial artery. Previous vein patch also removed from site. Patient noted to have plaque at the origin of posterior tibial artery. Vein patch applied at this site using greater saphenous vein. 6-0 prolene sutures applied to patch at pop artery proximally and posterial tibial artery distally. After repair completed, the distal posterior tibial artery was also repaired using a vein patch. 7-0 prolene sutures used for placement of distal vein patch." Can we code 35305, 34203, and 35256? Or is code 34203 included in 35305?

Leadless Pacemaker

Our labs just started doing the lead less pacemaker implants, which I know is 0387T for the implant. We also have the removal (0388T). We have a case where they did a leadless pacemaker change. In this case, would I code for the removal and then the implant (0388T and 0387T)? I could not find any other information on coding these. 

37221/35656?-iliac stent/thrombectomy, fempop bypass w/angioplasty

Help please! I'm coming up with codes 37221 and 35656... do you agree? "We did a longitudinal arteriotomy through the profunda into the common femoral patch, and noticed a very tight stenosis of the origin of the profunda artery. We ran a 4 French Fogarty embolectomy catheter up the iliacs, removed a large amount of thrombus, and re-established some flow back into the femoral. A 7 French sheath was placed into the femoral, and an angiogram to look at the aorta and iliacs showed a long segment left iliac occlusion. We placed an iCAST stent 8 mm diameter, 38 mm length, at the origin of the common iliac on the left, and then angioplastied the remainder of the iliac common femoral with an 8 mm balloon. We then sewed a Hemashield patch over the profunda for the profundoplasty portion. Left lower extremity angiogram showed reconstitution of left popliteal artery above the knee with two-vessel runoff to foot. There wasn't good pulse to foot, so we did a left fem-pop bypass. There was still narrowing at the anastomosis, so we ballooned it." 

Patient underwent EVAR for AAA and LT EIA stent for EIA dissection

"Both CFAs were explored with open technique to gain access to both femoral arteries. Both arterial sheaths were inserted, and then on right side we inserted Floppy wire all the way until it was into the descending thoracic aorta. On the left side, we started by Floppy wire, but it did not go through. Then we tried a more stiff wire, but also at the same time it did not go through because there was severe stenosis at the origin at the bifurcation of the anterior and external iliac artery, and at that point I think there was a small area of dissection in the external iliac artery that happened during the wire placement. Eventually, the wire went through into the descending thoracic aorta. Endovascular repair of AAA with Endurant IIs and additional balloon-expandable OmniLink Elite stent placement to left external iliac for dissection." Please advise on coding. 34812-50? Oor 34812, 37221? Or 37236, 34803, 75952, 36200-50? Is modifier 050 valid with 34812? Which CPT code is correct in this case: 37221 or 37236?

Endarterectomy of radial artery w vein patch angioplasty

"This is in a prior AV fistula that has developed stenosis just above the previously ligated fistula. Patient now has ischemic right hand pain with mild radial artery stenosis. Arteriotomy was made in the radial artery and endarterectomy was performed with removal of plaque from the primary area of stenosis and from the site of the previous arterial venous fistula. The remainder of the plaque was left intact as to not create and end point that would be difficult to manage, because the arterial wall was rather thin." Would you code this with 36832?

Stress Echo CPT 93350 vs 93351 hospital charging

This issue has been an ongoing discussion regarding how the hospital should bill for echo stress with EKG tracings. Current practice for the facility is to charge (bill) 93350 for the echo portion and 93017 for the tracings. There is some confusion if the hospital should be billing 93351 instead. The facility believes that 93351 is physician billing only. Code 93351 is a combined code of the stress echo and the EKG tracings. Can you provide clarification and recommend how the hospital should bill for this procedure? My understanding is that it should be billed with CPT code 93351 when same physician supervises and interrupts the echo and stress EKG. It is noted in your 2017 Dr. Z coding books that the recommendation of the AHA is for hospitals to use 93351 and not the separate codes. However CPT Assistant states: "In the facility setting, CPT code 93350 is always used to report the performance and interpretation of a stress echocardiogram since the alternative stress echocardiography code 93351 is reportable only in the non-facility setting."

93325 billed without 93320 or 93321

A few things in Dr. Z’s Diagnostic & Interventional Cardiovascular Coding Reference lead me to believe that 93325 should not be reported without 93320 or 93321. Like on page 579, #11, it says: “Color flow velocity mapping is an add-on code and, if documented, should be reported in addition to Doppler code.” And page 585, #9, says: “ Add-on code 93325 (color flow velocity mapping) should be reported in addition to the Doppler code (do not use with 93306 and C8929)." And on page 571 towards the bottom, in describing Doppler, he says: “Doppler is displayed in black and white. Color flow may be added to enhance the image by assigning colors to differentiate the direction of blood flow." I am being told that 93325 can be reported alone with its primary code. Can you please clarify the statements from the reference book, and if it's true, in what circumstance does color flow not have to be reported with 93320 or 93321?

Mammogram, one side screening one side diagnostic

We are wondering if there is any coding guidance that would allow us to code a diagnostic mammogram on one side and a screening mammogram on the opposite side as follows: Diagnostic mammogram, unilateral (one side); Screening mammogram, bilateral - with modifier -52 (for the other side). We believe we would code a unilateral screening as screening bilateral code with a -52 modifier if the patient only had one breast, so we are thinking similar logic could be applied to the scenario when one side is clearly done for diagnostic purposes and the other is documented as an asymptomatic screening. We saw the 2012 Q&A on your site, but, since then, we thought we should ask about the -52 modifier for the one-sided screening, one-sided diagnostic scenario. 

Endovascular repair 33881 or stent placement 37236?

The hospital coded 33881, but I see 37236, followed by embolization of a pseudoaneurysm. Am I missing something? M.D. mentions proximal end of stent extending to the takeoff of the left subclavian and stent "flared proximally". HELP! "CATH REPORT: 18 y.o. has history of coarctation with pseudoaneurysm formation, presents for stenting of coarctation and pseudoaneurysm. After informed consent, the patient was brought to the cath lab and prepped and draped in the usual fashion. The RFA was entered and a 6 Fr sheath introduced. Aortic arch angiography was performed. The sheath was upsized to a 12 Fr long sheath for stent placement. The aortic arch was stented with 3.9cm premounted CP covered stent with proximal end extending to the takeoff of the L subclavian artery. No residual gradient. Due to tiny amount of residual flow into the pseudoaneurysm above edge of the stent, an AVP-4 device was used to occlude the ductal ampulla which communicates with the pseudoaneurysm. Stent was flared proximal with 18mm Tyshak balloon. No residual flow." Is this 33881?

TR Band for Radial Closure

Can the TR band or other radial compression device be coded with G0269 (closure device)?

Billing Foreing Body Retrieval 37197

Is it appropriate to bill 37197 in addition to a procedure when using a snare to retrieve a wire that is purposefully used to gain through and through access from two separate points?

Arterial cutdown with peripheral intervention

I was curious as to possibly coding for arterial cutdown with peripheral intervention. Is there a code that can be charged, and why would that be included with the intervention? I would think it would be like using ultrasound guidance to obtain access to the artery. Can you help clarify for me please?

CPT 76932 Ultrasonic Guidance for Endomyocaridal Biopsy

Should we use code 76932 for ultrasonic guidance of endomyocaridal biopsy if the only mention of ultrasonic guidance was of the jugular vein access? Example: "The right neck was prepped. Under direct visualization using ultrasound, the right internal jugular vein was noted to be widely patent and then was accessed under direct ultrasound visualization using a modified Seldinger technique. After which, a 7 French 25 cm venous sheath was then introduced into the right internal jugular vein, and the sheath was drawn and flushed. A 7 French 50 cm Argom Jawz bioptome was introduced into the right internal jugular vein and advanced into the right ventricle. The bioptome was deployed in its normal fashion, and samples were obtained from the RV septum. There were four passes, and four samples were obtained. A 7 French Swan-Ganz catheter was advanced through the sheath, and balloon inflated and advanced to the RA, RV, PA, and wedge positions, with pressure recordings taken at each position. The thermodilution and FICK method were then used to measure the cardiac output."

Catheter placement with lower extremity angiography

Can we bill a catheter placement (36246) with lower extremity angiography (75710, 75716)?

Fiducial Marker Placement

I work for a hospital. I would like to know how to code a case for CT-guided biopsy of right internal obturator muscle soft tissue mass with fiducial marker placement. I plan to use 20206 for the biopsy portion, which I think is appropriate, but I am a bit stumped on the correct code for the fiducial marker placement. The physician states that the location of this muscle is extra-pelvic, so I am thinking that 10035 might be most appropriate. Thoughts?

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