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Question regarding change to 29881

  1. #1
    Question Question regarding change to 29881
    Exam Training Packages
    When a code has been revised and the definition of the code changes effective as of 01/01/2012 do most of you follow the old definition until denials are received or do you go by the new definition effective date? The physician wants to still bill a chondroplasty performed in a different comparment during the same surgical session. Previously submitted as 29881, 29877-59 for 2011. I don't think I should be billing this way for 2012 because of the definition change. The CCI edits that are alreay in place only allowed this pulled out if it was done in a separate compartment 2011. The change in the definition has bundled the code itself. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Hartford, CT
    The change is effective on January 1st. Any procedures performed prior to January 1st should be coded and paid under the old definition and procedures performed after Jaunaury 1st coded using the new CPT definition.

  3. #3
    The G0289 code is still listed in 2012 HCPCS. Could you not use this instead of the 29877-59?

  4. #4
    Hartford, CT
    No, chondroplasty is now bundled into 29881 and 29880 when done on the same knee

  5. #5
    Thank you. That was what I thought but I needed to get confirmation from another coder to take this to the physician.

  6. Lightbulb Mel
    Can you tell me if synovial debridement would also be considered as included in 29881 or 29880? If not, would modifier 22 be appropriate to use to indicate additional work in the surgery?

  7. #7
    @ mlangford, if your doc is doing an actual "Synovectomy" then you would use the 29875 with -59 mod (assuming it's done in separate compartment of the knee, as opposed to where Meniscetomy is being performed (since 29875 is bundled to 29881).

    But if it's an actual Debridement, it doesn't matter what compartment of the knee the doc is in, as of 2012 that Debridement (chondroplasty code) is BUNDLED to the 29880 & 29881 codes!

  8. Default
    Thanks so much! The physician did not say "synovectomy" just debridement of synovitis at the same time as chondroplasty of the patella, which of course is now bundled into 29881/29880. I appreciate the assistance.

  9. Default
    I have not run across anything written for MC on the chondroplasty altho I use Endcoder for
    a resource in bundling. When I entered 29870 w/ G0289 endcoder stated not allowed and modifier not allowed.

    As for other payers it is now bundled in with the 29880 or 29881 even tho it would be in separate compartment.

    If anyone has anything from MC on this could you let me know?


  10. Default
    sorry I meant 29877

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