Health Information Management

Tip: Check off elements needed for non-vascular interventional radiology code selection

APCs Insider, March 15, 2013

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Coders can follow a simple path to choose the correct code for a non-vascular interventional radiology procedure.

First, determine the location of the procedure. What area or organ is the physician treating?
 
Next, consider the intent of the procedure. Is the procedure diagnostic or interventional? Is the patient being sent for treatment of an existing problem or is the physician trying to determine what is causing the underlying symptoms?
 
A stent is used to open a vessel or area, while a catheter is used to remove or instill fluid. By focusing on the intent of the procedure, coders will have an easier time selecting the appropriate CPT® code.
 
Once coders determine the location and intent, they can begin looking for code-specific information, such as the following:
  • Type of device-internal or external
  • Technique-endoscopic or percutaneous
  • Codeable components:
    • Removal
    • Replacement
    • Conversion
    • Insertion-or reinsertion-of tube after stent
The tip is adapted from “AMA revises, deletes radiology codes for 2013” in the March Briefings on APCs.



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