Health Information Management

Q&A: Do we have to report an unlisted code for a laryngoscopy?

APCs Insider, January 30, 2015

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Q: We are providing a new service where the ear, note, and throat physician performs a laryngoscopy and injects a substance into the vocal cords. We don’t like to report unlisted CPT® codes, but that seems to be our only option. Can you suggest any alternatives?
A: While unlisted codes do serve a purpose, you should always search for a specific code to describe the service being provided. CMS has created a new Level II HCPCS code to describe this type of procedure: C9742 (laryngoscopy, flexible fiberoptic, with injection into vocal cord[s], therapeutic, including diagnostic laryngoscopy, if performed).  
Based on the description, this code is reported once whether the physician injects one or both vocal cords. The laryngoscopy is performed with a flexible fiberoptic scope and the code includes the diagnostic procedure, when performed. While the code includes the actual injection procedure, be sure to report the cost for the substance being injected.
Editor’s note: Denise Williams, RN, CPC-H, seniorvice president of revenue integrity services at Health Revenue Assurance Associates, Inc., in Plantation, Florida, answered this question.

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