Correct Coding Initiative version 17.1 brings 11,831 new edit pairs, effective April 1 for physicians. That’s the word from a March 17 announcement by Frank Cohen, principal and senior analyst for the Frank Cohen Group. Here’s a look at the major pointers you need to keep in mind to comply with the new cardiology-related edits, including cardiac catheterization, radiological supervision and interpretation, cardiac rehabilitation, and more.
1. Prevent Denials by Remembering 93454-93461 Are Diagnostic
New edits will prevent you from reporting heart catheter/angiography codes 93454- 93461 (column 2) with the following cardiovascular therapeutic services and procedures (column 1):
- 92975 — Thrombolysis coronary; by intracoronary infusion, including selective coronary angiography
- 92980 — Transcatheter placement of an intracoronary stent(s), percutaneous, with or without other therapeutic intervention, any method; single vessel
- 92982 — Percutaneous transluminal coronary balloon angioplasty; single vessel
- 92995 — Percutaneous transluminal coronary atherectomy, by mechanical or other method, with or without balloon angioplasty; single vessel.
The 929xx codes in column 1 describe coronary therapies. The 934xx codes in column 2 are diagnostic procedures. You should never use the 934xx diagnostic codes in column 2 to report catheter placement and coronary angiography performed as an integral part of the therapeutic column 1 services.
Opportunity: The edits have a modifier indicator of 1, so you may override them with an appropriate modifier when the procedures are distinct. If you report both codes in the edit pair and don’t append a modifier to the column 2 code, Medicare (and payers applying Medicare rules) will reimburse you for only the column 1 code.
The AMA, via CPT Assistant (April 2005), indicates that you may report a true diagnostic catheterization in addition to the therapeutic procedures described by 92980 and 92982: “These two distinct procedures (diagnostic catheterization and therapeutic procedures), therefore, should…