It is time again for the annual updates to CPT and taking a glimpse at the CPT 2017 files in the making should show some revelations that could be interesting and tell us what is in store for the current year. However, medical billing and coding companies should note that this cannot be an exhaustive list of happening things as there may be many more updates on the cards before these codes could be put to use. Here are some changes that are imminent, with some already initiated and some on the way.
Several changes in Cardiovascular Surgery Codes
Medical billing services should look out for changes in cardiovascular surgery where there is likelihood for two new updates in aortic valvuloplasty this year. Moreover, percutaneous left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) should be moving out from category III and will figure in category I. Endovenous ablation codes are set to change and new updates for mechanochemical ablation is on the cards.
As far as newborn transfusion is concerned, a new code with regards to partial exchange transfusion in a newborn is due to be introduced. Medical billing and coding services need to take note that wherever a procedure warrants expert skill, this new code will have to be used. In dialysis circuit, dialysis AV shunt imaging and intervention codes 36147 and 36148 are set to be deleted and will be replaced by nine new codes that are relevant to dialysis vascular services. In angioplasty, there will be new code options for aortic, brachiocephalic, venous balloon, and visceral. The existing radiology codes will be history as new codes for radiology supervision and interpretation are on the cards.
Goodbye to Conscious Sedation Symbol
There are over 400 codes that carry the conscious sedation symbol, and CPT 2017 will ensure that these codes will no longer carry this symbol. This mark will indicate that moderate/conscious sedation should not be reported along with the procedure code. While 2016 witnessed the codes to be applied at 30-minute increments, the 2017 codes that replace the existing codes will be applied at 15-minute increments, which all medical billers and coders should update with the staff handling the coding part of the business.
Biomechanical codes to be replaced
Next on the list of change comes the biomechanical device insertion, which is set to witness the introduction of three new add-on codes. That's not all; stabilization device insertion is set to witness four new codes, which will be replacing the current ones. Medical coding services providers should also take note that spine coders need to be updated about these new codes and that the biomechanical code 22851 will no longer be valid and will be replaced with the new codes.
Bunion Codes and Physiotherapy Coding
Medical billing and coding vendor companies need to update foot surgery coders about the bunion CPT codes and also new ICD-10 2017 codes M21.61 for bunion and M21.62 for bunionette in 2017. Moreover, unlike ICD-10, CPT is holding on to hallux valgus and bunion in the same code. For family physiotherapy codes 90846 and 90847 there will be an addition of a 50-minute time criterion in the descriptors. Also, coders need to watch out for an imminent change that removes "and/or family from codes 90832 to 90838.
Similarly, medical coding services need to look out for changes to be made to angiography code 92235 and 92240, which is for indocyanine-green angiography. According to CPT 2017 updates, irrespective of whether the service is unilateral or bilateral, these codes need to be applied. In case a patient happens to have both services simultaneously, a new option code will have to be used.
Other changes include CPT code changes for larynx services where the term "fiberoptic" is to be deleted from laryngoscopy codes, which will be replaced by new codes. Even for esophageal sphincter augmentation device placement and removal there are changes where the new codes will be replacing the old ones.
Medical billers and coders should not be surprised to note that there are several changes on the cards for path/lab, and new codes can be expected for drug tests and the existing drug screen codes 80300 to 80304 stand to be deleted. As far as molecular pathology is concerned MoPath levels 2, 4, and 7 stand to be affected by changes. In the Genomic sequencing/MAAA area new codes in relation to cardiac, fetal and prostate cancer testing can be expected from CPT 2017 updates.
CPT 2017 is all set to bring in new abdominal aortic aneurysm screening code that will enlighten a payer who won't accept the HCPCS option. Mammography codes too are changing, and will feature computer-aided detection, whenever they are performed.