Wiki Compartment Syndrome 20950?


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My physician did testing on 4 compartments in the ER. The code descriptor for 20950 says testing for compartment syndrome but does not indicate if you can charge for each compartment. Anyone have a clue.

Debbie K
as long as he is moving the device (needle/catheter) into the different compartments, and of course if the documentation supports each area, then I would say it is safe to code for each compartment.
Also, be sure not to use a 50 modifier if you perform this on bi-lateral limbs, per Medicare's RVU file. Always use units to indicate the number of compartments tested.

I Don't Know What Could Be More Vague Than This Code Description. It Does Not State Per Compartment, Or Per Session, Only "monitoring."

My Physician Tested A Patient For Non-traumatic Exertional Compartment Syndrome. He Did A Baseline Measurement Then Sent Her To Pt Next Door To Exercise, Then Measured Again, Rested Her For Several Minutes Then Measured Again. If I'm Supposed To Charge This Code For Each Time Each Compartment Was Measured It Would Be Eleven Units! This Is About 8 Times More Expensive Than The Surgery To Release Two Compartments! Should It Be One Unit For The Entire Session, One Unit For Each Compartment Tested During The Session, Or The Eleven Units As Above? Hope Someone Has Some Specific Official Guidelines On This And Can Tell Me Where To View It.

Thank You.
based on the description of the procedure, it states compartment (single) not compartments (plural) therefore this would be coded per compartment. I've never had any issues with reimbursement.