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Thread: Meniscectomy

  1. #1

    Question Meniscectomy

    AAPC: Back to School
    Hello all,
    I have doc that does a medial meniscectomy w/ a combination of meniscotome and baskets. Then goes into the lateral compartment and finds a small parrot-beak tear of the midportion of the lateral meniscus that only extended about 2mm back in to the meniscal body. This was TRIMMED back to a stable border, leaving the majority of the meniscus intact.

    Would this be enough to bill 29880 since no mention of other tools such as meniscotome and baskets?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    yes, but I would mention to the doc that he needs to beef up his dictation a little bit and tell you at least how he trimmed it or what he trimmed it with.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    I have a general question about 29880: I know 29880 says AND, but I always feel like billing it twice, with a 59 modifier, since it is 2 different compartments. Where can I find documentation to prove you can only bill it once?

  4. #4


    Per CPT ASST.
    Year: 2001

    Issue: August

    Pages: 5

    Title: Arthroscopic Knee Procedures

    Body: Coding Communication

    29880Arthroscopy, knee, surgical; with meniscectomy (medial AND lateral, including any meniscal shaving)

    29881Arthroscopy, knee, surgical; with meniscectomy (medial OR lateral, including any meniscal shaving)

    CPT code 29880 and 29881 identify excision of the menisci, including meniscal shaving. As stated for code 29879, code 29877 should not be reported separately from codes 29880 or 29881, unless performed in a different compartment. If code 29877 is performed in a different knee compartment, it would be necessary to append modifier -59, Distinct Procedural Service, to signify the chondroplasty was a distinct procedure performed in a separate compartment. Code 29880 should be reported when meniscectomy is performed on both the medial and lateral menisci, whereas code 29881 should be reported when only one meniscus (medial or lateral) was removed.

    You could bill 29880 twice for different knee.

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