Health Information Management

Do not report interrogation/reprogramming codes for turning devices on/off

APCs Insider, April 28, 2006

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Do not report interrogation/reprogramming codes for turning devices on/off

QUESTION: I have a question regarding the codes for pacemaker and defibrillator device interrogation/reprogramming, 93731-93735 and 93741-93744. Consider the following scenario:

    A patient presents to the hospital for a surgical procedure. Her device is turned off for a Bovie. When the physician completes the procedure, he or she turns the device back on.

Depending on the specific device, can the facility bill one of the above codes for turning the device on and off?

ANSWER: If the physician simply turns the pacemaker on and off as required by the method of surgery-and does not analyze or reprogram the pacemaker-do not report the above CPT codes in addition to the primary surgical procedure code.

A physician typically uses an EKG machine to analyze the device while the patient is at rest or under a stressful situation. The physician then interprets the results and programs the device by setting or resetting the rate, pulse amplitude, duration, and wave form configuration. He or she may also test the pacemaker's sensory function.

The physician should document performing any of these services in the patient record to bill for analyzing or reprogramming the device.

(The above question appeared in the April 2006 APC Answer Letter.)



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