Reporting Radiofrequency Ablation and Out-fracturing of Inferior Turbinates

Q. What are the appropriate codes to report when a physician performs a superficial radiofrequency ablation at the same session as out-fracturing both inferior turbinates?

A. You cannot report this procedure with CPT code 30930-Fracture nasal inferior turbinate(s), therapeutic, because of an existing National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) edit (often referred to as a code bundle). However, if an intramural radiofrequency ablation is performed, 30802-Cautery and/or ablation, mucosa of inferior turbinates, unilateral or bilateral, any method; intramural may be reported, appending the -59 modifier-distinct procedural service. Report each CPT code only once since the descriptor states each is a bilateral service. This guidance applies to Medicare and most carriers that apply NCCI edits to their payment policy; carriers may, however, vary in their application of NCCI and other code edits.


Approved May 2009

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