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Coding for Closed Capsulotomy of PIP Joint

  1. #1
    New Port Richey & Gulf to Bay
    Question Coding for Closed Capsulotomy of PIP Joint
    Medical Coding Books
    Hello Everyone,

    I had a question on coding a CLOSED capsulotomy on the PIP joint of a finger. All the provider stated was a CLOSED capsulotomy was performed. It was due to a joint contracture developing postoperatively due to scarring from a PIP joint replacement for severe osteoarthritis.

    Looking up through the CPT index, capsulotomy directs you to use CPT 26525 (Capsulectomy or capsulotomy; interphalangeal joint, each joint ). However! After reading the lay description, it seems the code is strictly for an incsional approach. Please see the below lay description.

    ....The physician removes or incises the joint capsule to release contracture and restore function. The physician incises the overlying the skin and dissects to the metacarpophalangeal joint. The capsule of the joint is incised or resected and removed. The incision is sutured in layers. In 26520, the capsulectomy or capsulotomy is performed on the metacarpophalangeal joint. In 26525 the capsulectomy or capsulotomy is performed on the interphalangeal joint. Report each joint separately.

    My question is it appropriate to report 26525 for a closed capsulotomy? Is there another code that better fits this situation? Thank you for all your time and help.

    Respectfully Yours,

    Kevin P Honig, CPC

    P.S. Happy Holidays!!

  2. #2
    Nashville AAPC Chapter
    My question is did you check with the provider to be sure they did a closed procedure, otherwise how did he perform a capsulotomy as a closed procedure.

  3. #3
    Nashville AAPC Chapter
    Did you verify from the physician that they did a "closed" procedure, this does not seem possible without an incision.

  4. #4
    New Port Richey & Gulf to Bay

    I am in the midst of querying him for clarification on the closed capsulotomy. When I first read the report, I also couldn't see how a closed capsulotomy could be performed. I will let you know when I get his answer. Thank you.

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