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Perforated appendix and removal of cecum

  1. Default Perforated appendix and removal of cecum
    Medical Coding Books
    Hi,
    If we remove a perforated appendix (44960) and remove 6-8" of the cecum (44160) can we bill these both together.
    They do not bump up against each other on CCI edits. I'm not finding any articles on this.

    Marci Klaubauf

  2. #2
    Location
    Johnson City
    Posts
    202
    Default
    Code 44160 includes removing the appendix. You should only bill 44160.
    Melissa Jewett, CPC

  3. #3
    Default
    Is that somewhere in writing? I can't seem to find that documented anywhere and I am very interested in that particular area. Do you know where I can find anything about it?

  4. #4
    Location
    Johnson City
    Posts
    202
    Default
    Look at the illustrations in the front of the CPT book for the Digestive System, the Appendix is attached only to the cecum, if the cecum is removed the appendix would have to be removed too.

    I also checked the NCCI edits on the cms website. Code 44160 and 44950 are listed together with the status indicator (0)

    Hope this helps.
    Melissa Jewett, CPC

  5. Default
    Melissa,
    Thank you for your input. The codes I have are 44960 not 44950 and 44160. They do not bundled together. Does that matter. I do realize that if we went in to remove part of the lower colon and took the appendix because it looked abnormal, we would not charge for the appendix. Does it make a difference because we went in only to take care of the ruptured appendix and had to take some of the cecum because it was so necrotic.
    Thank you again for your input.
    Marci Klaubauf, CPC

  6. #6
    Location
    Johnson City
    Posts
    202
    Default
    Marci,
    Ok you got me stumped, your right, code 44960 and 44160 are not bundled. Hmmmm... I tried to looking to see if the appendectomy code includes removing a small part of the cecum, but could not find any documentation. My gut opinion is bill only 44160, but I am curious now too.
    Melissa Jewett, CPC

  7. Default
    Hi Melissa,
    I was getting different information, so I called the American College of Surgeons Coding @1-800-227-7911 they have a coding hotline.
    I spoke w/ a gal named Karen and she said to bill both
    44160
    44960-51

    Hope that helps,
    Marci Klaubauf, CPC

  8. #8
    Default
    Good to know!! Thanks for sharing that info, Marci!!

  9. #9
    Location
    Johnson City
    Posts
    202
    Default
    Thanks for the info. I will definitely keep that number on file.
    Melissa Jewett, CPC

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