Health Information Management

Tip of the Week: Know rule of thumb for coding

APCs Insider, September 28, 2007

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The rule of thumb when it comes to coding IR procedures is for each vascular family that a physician selectively engages, report one-and only one-code that ends in a 5, 6, or 7, says Jim Collins, CPC, CHCC, ACS-CA, president of The Cardiology Coalition in Matthews, NC.

Collins has seen many over- and undercoding errors as a result of a violation of this rule.

The following are common selective catheter placement CPT codes ending in a 5, 6, or 7 with which coders should familiarize themselves:

  • 36215: Selective catheter placement, arterial system; each first order thoracic or brachiocephalic branch, within a vascular system
  • 36216: Initial second order thoracic or brachiocephalic branch, within a vascular family
  • 36217: Initial third order or more selective thoracic or brachiocephalic branch, within a vascular family
  • 36245: Selective catheter placement; arterial system; each first order abdominal, pelvic, or lower extremity artery branch, within a vascular family
  • 36246: Initial second order abdominal, pelvic, or lower extremity artery branch, within a vascular family
  • 36247: Initial third order or more selective abdominal, pelvic, or lower extremity artery branch, within a vascular family

    (The above tip appeared in the October 2007 issue of Briefings on APCs).



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