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Tag Archives: Diagnostic

When is Diagnostic Vats 32601 Separately Billable?

Hello, I am trying to determine when a diagnostic throracoscpy can be billed separately with modifier 59, when converted to open? The NCCI manual goes back and forth and I’m not sure when we can bill cpt 32601-59.

I have a provider who wants to bill CPT 32601-59 when converted to open once it it is realized the procedure cannot be done safely or for other reasons via vats, converts to open.

Any advise would be apprecaited, example –
Decision for Vats for decortication in ER day prior, on insertion of thoracoscope, it was noted that there were significant adhesions with purulence throughout the chest cavity and a trapped right lower lobe and right middle lobe. Based on this, it proved to be difficult to do a decortication through a VATS approach. It was decided to perform a posterolateral thoracotomy. A posterolateral thoracotomy was performed. The provider wants to bill the Vats in addition to the open procedure. Refers to chapter 5 NCCI " However, a diagnostic thoracoscopy is separately reportable with an open thoracotomy, thoracostomy, or mediastinal procedure if the findings of the diagnostic thoracoscopy lead to the decision to perform an open thoracotomy, thoracostomy, or mediastinal procedure, …with modifier 58".

The NCCI manual –

"14. A diagnostic thoracoscopy (CPT codes 32601, 32604, 32606) is not separately reportable with a surgical thoracoscopy on the ipsilateral side of the thorax.
A diagnostic thoracoscopy to assess the surgical field or extent of disease prior to an open thoracotomy, thoracostomy, or mediastinal procedure is not separately reportable. However, a diagnostic thoracoscopy is separately reportable with an open thoracotomy, thoracostomy, or mediastinal procedure if the findings of the diagnostic thoracoscopy lead to the decision to perform an open thoracotomy, thoracostomy, or mediastinal procedure. Modifier 58 may be reported to indicate that the diagnostic thoracoscopy and open procedure were staged or planned.
If a surgical thoracoscopy is converted to an open thoracotomy, thoracostomy, or mediastinal procedure, the surgical thoracoscopy is not separately reportable. Additionally a diagnostic thoracoscopy should not be reported in lieu of the surgical thoracoscopy with the open thoracotomy, thoracostomy, or mediastinal procedure. Neither a surgical thoracoscopy nor diagnostic thoracoscopy code should be reported with the open thoracotomy, thoracostomy, or mediastinal procedure code when a surgical thoracoscopy is converted to an open procedure.

Medical Billing and Coding Forum – Cardiovascular Thoracic

[Announcement] Private Payor Prices Will Be Used By Medicare to Set Payment Rates for Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Tests Beginning in 2018

Clinical Lab Tests

On June 17, CMS released a final rule implementing Section 216(a) of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA), requiring laboratories performing clinical diagnostic laboratory tests to report the amounts paid by private insurers for laboratory tests. Medicare will use these private insurer rates to calculate Medicare payment rates for laboratory tests paid under the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS) beginning January 1, 2018.

The final rule includes provisions to ease administrative burdens for physician office laboratories and smaller independent laboratories. The final rule will generally require reporting entities to report private payor rates and test volumes for laboratory tests if an applicable laboratory receives at least $ 12,500 in Medicare revenues from laboratory services paid under the CLFS and more than 50 percent of its Medicare revenues from laboratory and/or physician services.

For the system’s first year, laboratories will collect private payor data from January 1, 2016, through June 30, 2016, and report it to CMS between January 1, 2017, and March 31, 2017. CMS will calculate and post the new Medicare rates by early November 2017. These rates will take effect on January 1, 2018.

For More Information:

 

See the full text of this excerpted CMS press release (issued June 17).

The Medical Management Institute – MMI – Medical Coding News & MMI Updates

Multiple Diagnostic Imaging Procedures Pay More in 2017

Effective Jan. 1, 2017, Medicare administrative contractors (MACs) will reimburse physicians, providers, and clinical diagnostic laboratories considerably more for the professional component (PC) of certain diagnostic imaging procedures than in years past. When Less is More Since 2012, MACs make full payment for the PC of the highest-priced procedure, and apply a Multiple Procedure Payment […]
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