Q & A with Dr. David Zielske

Question    I have a question that involves the new cardiology intervention codes for 2013. We had a STEMI come in that was intervened on. There were lesions treated with drug-eluting stents in two different vessels. The first lesion was the middle 1/3 of the SVG graft from the aorta to 2nd left posterolateral artery and the second lesion was in the native 2nd left posterolateral artery. Can we charge for both stent placements? I think we can. But, would we charge C9606 twice or would we charge C9606 once and charge C9601 too?
Answer     The graft and the vessel it is subtended to is considered a single vessel for coding purposes, even if two separate lesions.  So in this example I would recommend only C9606 for the hospital (92941 for the MD).  I would not use C9601.