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Thread: diagnostic bronchs 31622

  1. #1

    Default diagnostic bronchs 31622

    AAPC: Back to School
    I am asking the question, if my surgeons are doing bronchs pretty consistently before their more comprehensive lung procedures, open and thoracoscopically for the purpose of looking for possible metastatic lesions or other lesions in the bronchus or trachea in addition to the lesion or nodule they are performing a procedure on in the lung, would this be considered a scout bronchoscopy and therefore bundled. For lobectomy there is no question that 31622 hits an edit. My concern is that this seems to be the standard practice to do a bronch before their cases and they are in the OR because of known lesions or nodules or masses in the lung. The fact that 31622 is a seperate procedure makes one stop to ask " is it related to the primary surgery. There are statements that if it is an initial bronch that it may be billed. This is not always easy for a coder to assess. I have been given some advice to consider but I have a physician who feels that this scenario does not really mean extent of disease, as he feels that means that you are looking at the same original lesion not possible seperate lesions in the bronch or trach. The trach and bronchus are in the same organ system as the lung so one could say that it is not seperate and distinct. I would be very eager to get some opinions in this arena as most Thoracic coders to struggle with billing this code. thanks

  2. #2


    In our practice as a rule, the bronch when preformed with any other lung procedure is bundled as part of the larger surgery. Hope this helps

  3. #3

    Default reply to response on 31622

    The response that was sent by lisammy- when you say that you do not pull 31622 with other larger comprehensive lung surgeries does this include thorascopic cases along with open cases?

  4. #4

    Default question regarding response to 31622 question

    The response that was sent by lisammy- Could you please clarify, "when you say that you do not pull 31622 with other larger comprehensive lung surgeries" does this include thorascopic cases along with open cases?

  5. #5


    My surgeons on occasion will do a bronch when they do a thoracotomy, in that case they bundle it with their surgery. They do not do stand alone bronch, they allow the pulmonologist to do those diagonstic bronchs before they come to us for surgery. I can't think of them ever doing on when doing a VATS.

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