Part 2: New 2021 CPT Codes | Musculoskeletal and Respiratory Systems
RHIA, CDIP, CCS, CCS‑P, CIRCC
Executive Director Of Education
AHIMA‑Approved ICD‑10‑CM/PCS Trainer and Ambassador
This is Part 2 of a five part series on the new 2021 CPT codes. In this series we will explore the CPT changes for FY2021 and include some examples to help the coder understand the new codes. There are 0 new musculoskeletal CPT codes added with 0 deletions and 2 major revisions along with an extensive update to arthroscopic loose body removal requirements. For the respiratory system, there were 2 new codes, one code deletion and no revisions.
For this musculoskeletal, there are no new codes however major revisions to codes that frequently use.
The notes for assigning arthroscopic loose body removals is now much more stringent. Arthroscopic removal of loose body(ies) or foreign body(ies) (i.e., 29819-shoulder, 29834-elbow, 29861-hip, 29874-knee, 29894-ankle, 29904-subtalar joint) may now only be reported when the loose body(ies) or foreign body(ies) is/are equal to or larger than the diameter of the arthroscopic cannula(s) used for the specific procedure, and can only be removed through a cannula larger than that used for the specific procedure or through a separate incision, or through a portal that has been enlarged to allow removal of the loose or foreign body(ies).
If removing loose bodies through same portals, surgeon must document he/she is changing out cannula for a larger one! The surgeon must also document sizes of cannulas/loose bodies or reader must be able to discern in documentation that loose body(ies) meet the above requirements (ie, separate incision or enlarged incision, exchange of cannula for larger one etc.) This is going to add more documentation burden on the physician.
For the shoulder, arthroscopic debridement definitions were further expanded with requirements as follows:
- 29822 Arthroscopy, shoulder, surgical; debridement, limited, 1 or 2 discrete structures (eg, humeral bone, humeral articular cartilage, glenoid articular cartilage, biceps tendon, biceps anchor complex, labrum, articular capsule, articular side of the rotator cuff, bursal side of the rotator cuff, subacromial bursa, foreign body(ies)
- 29823 Arthroscopy, shoulder, surgical; debridement, extensive, 3 or more discrete structures (eg, humeral bone, humeral articular cartilage, glenoid articular cartilage, biceps tendon, biceps anchor complex, labrum, articular capsule, articular side of the rotator cuff, bursal side of the rotator cuff, subacromial bursa, foreign body(ies)
Coders must note that the exact areas of the shoulder that must be documented to discern which code to assign. Physician should be educated about this change so that can they start dictating these areas debrided in their operative notes. When in doubt, coders must query. If coders are not familiar with the areas anatomically, they can review photos online to discern shoulder anatomy.
There are also new Category III codes for musculoskeletal procedures:
- 0594T Osteotomy, humerus, with insertion of an externally controlled intramedullary lengthening device, including intraoperative imaging, initial and subsequent alignment assessments, computations of adjustment schedules, and management of the intramedullary lengthening device
(Do not report in conjunction with codes 20696, 24400, 24410, 24420, 24516, which are the
external fixator and osteotomy codes)
- 0627T Percutaneous injection of allogeneic cellular and/or tissue- based product, intervertebral disc, unilateral or bilateral injection, with fluoroscopic guidance, lumbar, first level
- +0628T Each additional level
- 0629T Percutaneous injection of allogeneic cellular and/or tissue- based product, intervertebral disc, unilateral or bilateral injection, with CT guidance, lumbar, first level
- +0630T Each additional level
Allogeneic based products are injected into the intervertebral disc for patients with discogenic chronic low-back pain from disc disease such as degenerative disc disease. The physician thaws and prepares cell solution and allograft, draws into 3-mL into syringe and injects needle, using fluoroscopic imaging. 1.35-1.75 mL is injected. DiscGenics is one of several companies that produces this.
There is a new code for lateral wall implant insertions:
- 30468 – Repair of nasal valve collapse with subcutaneous/submucosal lateral wall implant(s)
For repair of nasal vestibular stenosis or collapse without cartilage graft, lateral wall reconstruction, or subcutaneous/submucosal implant (eg, radiofrequency remodeling bilateral wall suspension, or stenting without graft or subcutaneous/submucosal implant), use 30999. Also, do not report 30468 with 30465 – Repair of nasal vestibular stenosis on the same claim. LATERA® by Stryker is one example.
There is a new code for biopsy of lung:
- 32408 – Core needle biopsy, lung, or mediastinum, percutaneous, including imaging guidance, when performed (1 lesion sampled) Use code 32408-59 for each separate lesion on the same encounter. A core needle biopsy uses a needle designed to obtain a core sample of tissue for histopathologic evaluation. A FINE NEEDLE ASPIRATION (FNA) biopsy is performed when material is aspirated with a fine needle and the cells are examined cytologically. Read the new introductory notes at code.
In Part 3 we will discuss the cardiovascular code changes.
The information contained in this coding advice is valid at the time of posting. Viewers are encouraged to research subsequent official guidance in the areas associated with the topic as they can change rapidly.
This is Part 5 of a five part series on the new 2021 CPT codes. For the remaining areas we will just briefly summarize the section. Due to the intricate nature of these sections in CPT, it is recommended that the coder read the entire section notes associated with the new codes.
This is Part 4 of a five part series on the new 2021 CPT codes. In this series we will explore the CPT changes in the urinary, nervous, ocular and auditory systems. There are 2 new urinary/male reproductive system codes with no revisions or deletions; 3 new female reproductive codes with 2 deletions, 0 new with 4 deleted nervous system codes with 5 revisions; 5 new eye category III codes; and finally a 2 new auditory codes with one deletion.
This is Part 3 of a five part series on the new 2021 CPT codes. In this series we will explore the cardiovascular system CPT changes. There are 5 new cardiovascular CPT codes added with 0 deletions and 4 revisions.
This is Part 1 of a five part series on the new 2021 CPT codes. In this series we will explore the CPT changes for FY2021 and include examples to help the coder understand the new codes. For 2021 in general, there were 199 new CPT codes added, 54 deleted and 69 revised.
In January, new CPT codes were released. There were 248 new CPT codes added, 71 deleted and 75 revised. Most of the surgery section changes were in the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular subsections. These included procedures such as skin grafting, breast biopsies, deep drug delivery systems, tricuspid valve repairs, aortic grafts and repair of iliac artery.
We have seen many updates and changes to COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) since the pandemic started. On January 1, 2021 we will see even more changes as outlined in this post. Also the CMS MS-DRG grouper will be updated to version 38.1 to accommodate the changes.
In the previous three parts of this four-part series, we discussed the new ICD-10-CM diagnosis code changes, ICD-10-PCS procedure code changes and FY2021 IPPS changes. In this last Part 4 of the series, we will review the NTAP procedure codes and reimbursement add-on payments for FY2021.
In the previous two parts of this four part series, we discussed the new ICD-10-CM diagnosis code changes and ICD-10-PC procedure code changes. In this session we will review the major IPPS changes for FY2021.
This is Part 2 of a 4 part series on the FY2021 ICD-10 Code and IPPS changes. In this part, the ICD-10-PCS procedure codes are presented. For FY2021 ICD-10-PCS there are 78,115 total codes (FY2020 total was 77,571); 556 new codes (734 new last year in FY2020)…
This is Part 1 of a 4 part series on the FY2021 changes to ICD-10 and the IPPS. In this part, we discuss some of the new ICD-10-CM diagnosis changes. Here is the breakdown: 72,616 total ICD-10-CM codes for FY2021; 490 new codes (2020 had 273 new codes); 58 deleted codes (2020 had 21 deleted codes); 47 revised codes (2020 had 30 revised codes)
Acute pulmonary edema is the rapid accumulation of fluid within the tissue and space around the air sacs of the lung (lung interstitium). When this fluid collects in the air sacs in the lungs it is difficult to breathe. Acute pulmonary edema occurs suddenly and is life threatening.
“Client S” is a small, not-for-profit, 40 bed micro-hospital in the Southeast. HIA performed a 65-record review this year for Client S and found an opportunity with 15 of them. 9 had an increased reimbursement with a total of $43,228 found.
The coma scale codes (R40.2-) can be used in conjunction with traumatic brain injury codes, acute cerebrovascular disease or sequelae of cerebrovascular disease codes. These codes are primarily for use by trauma registries, but they may be used in any setting where this information is collected. The coma scale may also be used to assess the status of the central nervous system for other non-trauma conditions, such as monitoring patients in the intensive care unit regardless of medical condition.
In the past, there had been an Excludes1 note at I46.- Cardiac arrest that excluded R57.0, Cardiac shock. HIA had also received a letter from AHA on a case in the past that had stated that only I46.- Cardiac arrest would be coded if both were documented. In addition, the Third Quarter Coding Clinic page 26 had a similar case that asked if both could be coded, and AHA had instructed that only I46.9, cardiac arrest, cause unspecified would be coded if both were documented and that the CDC would be looking at possible revision to the Excludes1 note.
A higher CMI corresponds to increased consumption of resources and increased cost of patient care, resulting in increased reimbursement to the facility from government and private payers, like CMS. We know that documentation directly impacts coding.
Lately we have seen several cases where the endarterectomy was assigned along with the coronary artery bypass (CABG) procedure when being performed on the same vessel to facilitate the CABG. A coronary artery endarterectomy is not always performed during a CABG procedure, so when it is performed it becomes confusing as to whether to code it separately or not.
Assign code Z20.828, “Contact with and (suspected) exposure to other viral communicable diseases” for all patients who are tested for COVID-19 and the results are negative, regardless of symptoms, no symptoms, exposure or not as we are in a pandemic.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new procedure codes for treatments of COVID-19 – effective as of August 1, 2020. Among the new codes are Section X New Technology codes for the introduction or infusion of therapeutics including Remdesivir, Sarilumab, Tocilizumab, transfusion of convalescent plasma, as well as introduction of any other or new therapeutic substances for the treatment of COVID-19.
One common element in many value-based programs is risk adjustment using Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCCs) to create a Risk Adjustment Factor (RAF) score. This method ranks diagnoses into categories that represent conditions with similar cost patterns.
Why are so many AKI records being denied? It’s hard to give one answer for why so many AKI records are being denied lately, but most appear to be due to the multiple sets of criteria available for use in determining if a patient has AKI, as well as physician documentation. As stated in Part 3 of this series, there are three main criteria/classifications used to diagnose AKI.
In previous parts of this series we looked at the definitions of AKI/ARF, causes, coding and sequencing, and the common clinical indicators that patients present with that are diagnosed with this condition. In Part 4, we will look at the documentation that should be present to report the diagnosis without fear of denial, as well as when a query is needed to clarify the diagnosis.
If the facility does a COVID-19 test, and test is negative, do I need a diagnosis code. The answer is yes, you will report a Z-code. The Z-code depends on the record documentation and circumstances of testing. For any patient receiving a COVID-19 test, if negative, there MUST e a Z-code to describe why the test was taken. (Test negative for COVID-19 and MD does not override negative results).
In the first parts of this series we looked at definitions of AKI/ARF, causes, coding and sequencing. In Part 3, we will look at what clinical indicators would possibly be present to support the diagnosis of AKI/ARF.
As discussed in Part 1 of this series, AKI/ARF is a common diagnosis that coders see daily. In Part 2, we are going to focus on the different types/specificity of AKI/ARF. We’ll learn what they mean, as well as how to code the diagnosis.
This is part 1 in a series focused on coding of acute kidney injury (AKI) and/or acute renal failure (ARF). AKI/ARF is reported often, but is also one of the most common diagnosis found in denials.
With the proliferation of COVID-19 cases, we thought we would put together a quick reference listing of some of the common scenarios that coders have asked about. As with all coding, coders should follow Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting and the COVD-19 Frequently Asked Questions document by the AHA.
Effective March 1, Medicare will pay physicians for telehealth services at the same rate as in-person visits for all diagnoses, not just services related to COVID-19. This great for providers whose patients are reluctant to visit the office.
The biggest reasons why some hospital systems are moving to single path coding is to eliminate duplicative processes and to optimize productivity. In addition, costs are reduced when only one coder “touches” the record and completes both types of coding.
Effective with 4/1/2020 discharges, ICD-10-CM code U07.0 is used to report vaping -related disorders. ICD-10-CM code U07.0 (vaping related disorder) should be used when documentation supports that the patient has a lung-related disorder from vaping. This code is found in the new ICD-10-CM Chapter 22. U07.0 will be in listed in the ICD-10-CM manual under a new section: Provisional assignment of new disease of uncertain etiology or emergency use.