29881 accurate for debridement?

ewheeler

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I need some clarification for the debridement of the meniscus. Would 29881 be appropriate if only a debridement was done and not a complete meniscectomy? My physician will also do a chondroplasty with a debridement, yet he wants to bill 29877. I feel that these should be billed with 29881 and need some coding guidelines. thanks!
 

ewheeler

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So is it accurate to say that if the surgeon only debrided the meniscus, I should bill 29881? The thing that is confusing is the debridement of the meniscus vs.excision of the meniscus. Should 29881 be used when only debridement is done? I appreciate your help!!
 

Orthocoderpgu

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Before 2012 29881 & 29877 could be reported separately. But in 2012 these two codes were combined. If your physician performs chondroplasty only, you would bill 29877. However, when he debrides the meniscus (meniscectomy) then you have to report 29881.
 

tammy roach

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*29880 Arthroscopy, knee, surgical; with meniscectomy (medial AND lateral, including any meniscal shaving) including
debridement/shaving of articular cartilage (chondroplasty), same or separate compartment(s), when performed
*29881 Arthroscopy, knee, surgical; with meniscectomy (medial OR lateral, including any meniscal shaving) including
debridement/shaving of articular cartilage (chondroplasty), same or separate compartment(s), when performed

Debridement is the same as "Meniscal shaving". So 29881 is also a "partial meniscectomy". :)
 
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