29881 or 29877 conundrum

Orthocoderpgu

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The physician goes into the knee and the patient has grade 4 chondromalacia of the entire joint. Virtually the entire time was spent debriding the entire joint. He also performed a very limited, gentle meniscetomy. Would you code this as 29877 or 29881? Is there any documentation to support billing one code over another in this situation? Thanks for your help.
 

CodingKing

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I know CCI already covers it but if you look in the CPT book under 29877 it says (When performed with arthroscopic meniscectomy, see 29880 or 29881) That is the reason behind the NCCI edit. 29880 and 29881 both include chondroplasty & meniscectomy same or separate compartments. It doesnt matter which part was more extensive if both are done 29880/29881 are the codes to use. I know the RVU is lower but best not have that get caught in an audit.
 
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Orthocoderpgu

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Not trying to bil 29881 and 29877 together

I know about the bundling and everything. If a OP note supports both 29877 (Major part of work) and a very limited, gentle meniscectomy I am not going to bill both codes. Only one. But which one would you choose? 29877 because that's where 95% of the work was done or bill 29881 since he did do a meniscectomy (chondroplasty included).

So bill 29877 only or 29881 only?
 

shecodes

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It doesnt matter which part was more extensive if both are done 29880/29881 are the codes to use.
Agree with the above.

You have 1 code that encompasses both procedures performed, that is the appropriate code to bill.
 
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