Q: How can I report the anterior submucous resectioning of the inferior turbinates (bilaterally), with additional posterior volumetric reduction using a microdebrider followed by the crushing and lateralizing of the turbinates?
A: You should code this service with CPT code 30140 – Submucous resection inferior turbinate, partial or complete, any method with modifier 50- Bilateral procedures. If the tissue removed was bone – do not report CPT code 30801 – Cautery and/or ablation, mucosa of inferior turbinates, unilateral or bilateral, any method; superficial or 30802 – Cautery and/or ablation, mucosa of inferior turbinates, unilateral or bilateral, any method; intramural.
Note that the additional volumetric reduction which is performed is included in CPT code 30140. According to the code descriptor for CPT code 30140 (in the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) manual), Do not report 30130 or 30140 in conjunction with 30801 or 30802, 30930.
Approved May 2010
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CPT for ENT articles are a collaborative effort between the Academy’s team of CPT Advisors, members of the Physician Payment Policy (3P) workgroup, and health policy staff. Articles are developed to address common coding questions received by the health policy team, as well as to clarify coding changes and correct coding principles for frequently reported ENT procedures. These articles are not intended as legal, medical, or business advice and are not a guarantee of reimbursement. The information is also not meant to serve as the definitive or sole authority on billing and coding issues. The applicability of AAO-HNS billing and coding guidance for a particular procedure, must be determined by the responsible physician in light of all the circumstances presented by the individual patient. You should consult with your own advisors as well as Medicare or private carriers in making any decisions about how to bill and code particular services or procedures.