Ob-Gyn Coding Alert

Reader Question:

Attempted External Cephalic Version

Question: How should I code for an attempted (failed) external cephalic version? Does this include reading an NST (non-tress test)?

New Jersey Subscriber

Answer: You should code for the attempted procedure with 59412 (External cephalic version, with or without tocolysis) appended with modifier -52 (Reduced services). An NST was never valued or described as part of this procedure, so you may report 59025 (Fetal non-stress test) separately from the version. However, since both services are listed as "surgical" procedures in CPT, you will need to add modifier -51 (Multiple procedures) to the second code, and you will probably be paid at a discounted rate, i.e., 59412 and 59025-51.