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Thread: Clarification for 63047

  1. #1

    Default Clarification for 63047

    AAPC: Back to School
    I was wondering if anyone had documention or links to info for CPT 63047,63048.
    I have info from AAOS but it is from 2004. It describes coding per nerve root decompressed but I am questioning if it is still relative in 2011. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!!

  2. #2

    Default Description includes nerve root[s]

    I would suggest that this is not per "nerve root[s]" but by spinal area, i.e., cervical (63045), 63046 (thoracic), lumbar (63047), and additional segments in addition to those (63048).

    The description which carries through all includes the phrase "nerve root[s]". Therefore, it would not be appropriate to use the code multiple times based upon the number of nerve roots.

    Since the description also includes "unilateral and bilateral," it would be inappropriate to code one of these twice, except for 63048 when necessary.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3


    The way I was told to code for this is per spinous process removed and/or per nerve root decompressed. If my dr. did a laminectomy, facetectomy, etc at L3,L4,L5 and the documentation was there, (they would have to dictate that they removed the L3,L4,L5 spinous process, did a laminectomy at L3,L4,L5 and identify each nerve root decompressed. I would bill 63047, 63048 x 2. If the documentation is not specific in stating the exact nerve roots and spinous process removed, I would bill per segment. The description of the code does say nerve root[s] however there is more than one nerve root and the code means either unilateral or bilateral so you could do a laminectomy one the left side decompress one nerve root and bill 63047 or you could do a bilateral laminectomy decompress the left and right nerve roots and still only bill just 63047.

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