SSN block


North Andover, MA
Best answers
HI All

Can anyone help with this, our surgeon wants to bill 29826 (SAD) with 64418 suprascapular nerve block. The WC carrier states that this is included in 29826. I can not find this in the Orthopaedic coding compainion. Any informantion will be help full.

Thank you,


True Blue
Best answers
was general anesthesia also used? if so, then the 64418 can be billed (you will have to use a 59 modifier even though it clears edits with the 29826). Please see the below from the CPT asst.

Issue: October

Pages: 9

Title: Anesthesia and Postoperative Pain Management

Body: Coding Clarification

The following article builds on information originally presented in the February 1997 CPT Assistant article, "Anesthesia: Coding for Procedural Services."

Codes for procedures commonly used in the management of postoperative pain include 62318 and 62319 (both introduced in CPT 2000) for continuous epidural analgesia and the series of codes for somatic nerve blocks (64400-64450).

It is appropriate to report pain management procedures, including the insertion of an epidural catheter or the performance of a nerve block, for postoperative analgesia separately from the administration of a general anesthetic.

When general anesthesia is administered and these injections are performed to provide postoperative analgesia, they are separate and distinct services and are reported in addition to the anesthesia code. Whether the block procedure (insertion of catheter; injection of narcotic or local anesthetic agent) occurs preoperatively, postoperatively, or during the procedure is immaterial.

If, on the other hand, the block procedure is used primarily for the anesthesia itself, the service should be reported using the anesthesia code alone. In a combined epidural/general anesthetic, the block cannot be reported separately.


• A patient having total knee replacement surgery may receive a regional anesthetic and a postoperative pain management agent through the same epidural catheter, in which case the only code reported would be 01402.

• A femoral nerve block (64450) placed to provide post-operative analgesia for an anterior cruciate ligament repair or a total knee replacement would be reported separately from the surgical anesthesia.

• A patient undergoing a thoracotomy might receive an epidural injection of a local anesthetic and/or narcotic (62318) for postoperative pain control in addition to the general anesthetic, which is administered through an endotracheal tube (00540). In this case, the epidural is not the surgical anesthetic and it would be reported separately, as an independent procedure.

• Shoulder surgery could be performed under an interscalene brachial plexus block that would also provide postoperative analgesia. This would be reported using the anesthetic code (eg, 01620). If the block were intended primarily to alleviate postsurgical pain, and a general anesthetic was administered for the shoulder procedure, the block would be separately reportable using code 64415.

• A brachial plexus block might also provide both the anesthesia and the postoperative pain control for an open reduction of a wrist fracture. Only the anesthesia code would be reported.

© 2005 American Medical Association