Cardiology Coding Alert

Reader Question:

Understand Different Types of Cardioversion

Question: How would you report a cardioversion that is done through a device — the chest is not open. Would it be 92961 or is that used only if the chest is open during surgery?

California Subscriber

Answer: If your provider restored the patient’s normal heart rate and rhythm by using a device, report 92960 (Cardioversion, elective, electrical conversion of arrhythmia; external). During a 92960 procedure, your provider will attach cardioversion pads onto the patient’s chest or on their chest and their back after noting down the baseline cardiac output rates. These baseline cardiac output rates illustrate the abnormality in the heart rate, which helps to analyze the intensity of electrical shock your provider will deliver. Your provider will then connect these pads to an external defibrillator, which monitors the patient’s heart rhythm and also delivers the electrical shock. This electric shock brings the patient’s heart rate and rhythm back to normal.

On the other hand, you would report 92961 (Cardioversion, elective, electrical conversion of arrhythmia; internal (separate procedure)) if your provider performs internal cardioversion using drugs. In this procedure, your provider attaches heart monitoring nodes to the patient’s chest after noting down the baseline cardiac output rates. They will also insert an intravenous cannula into the patient’s arm and administer a drug such as procainamide to return the heart rate and rhythm to normal.