The administration of gentamicin injections is a common procedure performed by otolaryngologists for severe cases of vertigo when observed in some patients with Meniere’s disease. To treat vertigo gentamicin injections are given weekly in the inner ear over a period of time. The gentamicin deadens the hair-like fibers that transmit balance information to the brain. Initially, the injections may cause extreme dizziness for several days or weeks. After a while, this dizziness eventually dissipates.
Each and every time gentamicin is instilled, report CPT code 69801, Labyrinthotomy, with perfusion of vestibuloactive drug(s); transcanal
(Do not report 69801 more than once per day)
(Do not report 69801 in conjunction with 69420, 69421, 69433, 69436 when performed on the same ear)
69801 now has a zero-day global period and the tube placement is included in the code. In 2011, changes were made to the code in the CPT manual and documented in the 2011 CPT Changes publication. The changes include:
As always, ensure your documentation fully supports your treatment rationale and coincides with the CPT codes submitted in the claim. Be prepared to send clinical notes if the claims examiner needs further information to process the claim.
Revised September 2011
Reviewed April 2008
Reviewed April 2009
Page last updated: September 26, 2011
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