Tips to help you Code 31626 with Confidence

Published: 24th August 2010
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Often radiation oncologists use markers to ensure they are pinpointing the right anatomic area. This means you have to be able to pinpoint the right marker placement code.

Keep a look out on: You have one more code to select from CPT 2010's introduction of 31626. To ensure you are using the new code right, check out these 'dos' and don'ts straight from the AMA's CPT symposium.

1. Report Marker Placement only once

Code 31626 may be right when doctors place fiducial markers used to guide a thoracoscopy or to help visualize for a more precise lung wedge biopsy. Then again, the code may be apt when the doctor places a marker to designate an area for radiation.

Be careful: Code 31626 is for one or more markers. Many a time, the doctor places four; however a case could require five to six markers. The code is reported just once; however do not confuse placement with the markers themselves. You may use them separately if your practice bears the cost of the markers.

2. Do not confuse 31626 With 32553

To keep 31626 straight from a second 2010-introduced fiducial marker placement code, answer one simple question: 'How did the marker get there?

Solution: Take a look at which route the doctor used to place the marker:

Report 31626 for a fiducial marker bronchoscopically delivered via the airway.

Report 32553 if the marker arrived there percutaneously through the chest wall.

For information on other CPT 2010 fiducial marker placement changes, sign up for a one-stop medical coding website. Such a site comes loaded with everything be it coding tools, medical coding article, ICD-10 bridge, like-minded coders to exchange notes, and lots more.

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