Health Information Management

Q&A: Report code C1776 for complete joint replacement device as well as individual device components

APCs Insider, July 4, 2008

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QUESTION: When a coder in our HIM department reports code 27446 (arthroplasty, knee, condyle and plateau; medial OR lateral compartment), this typically triggers the required device code C1776 (joint device, implantable). However, in one case, the physician only used individual components of the joint device?not the entire joint implant. How should we report this?
 
ANSWER:CMS defines code C1776 as:

 Joint device (C1776)?An artificial joint, such as a finger or toe, that is implanted in a patient. Typically, a joint device functions as a substitute to its natural counterpart and is not used (as are anchors) to oppose soft tissue-to-bone, tendon-to-bone, or bone-to-bone. (CMS Program Memorandum A-02-050, June 2002) 

There is nothing in this description that maintains the device must be a complete joint replacement device. Code C1776 is also used for implantable devices of joints other than the knee. When a physician implants a device during an associated surgical procedure, and that device meets the definition above, report code C1776.



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