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Thread: Thoracoscopy

  1. #1

    Default Thoracoscopy

    AAPC: Back to School
    I have a physician that performs a thoracoscopy with wedge resection of lung, single or multiple (32657 with a modifier 58), wait for pathology and if warranted immediately perform a 32663 (lobectomy). I have two questions:

    1. Is the physician coding this correctly?
    32663 and 32657,58

    2. Has anyone received any RAC audits for the use of these two codes together?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Dover Seacoast New Hampshire


    32657 has been deleted for 2012. The VATS codes underwent many, many changes this year, by more completely separating the diagnostic and surgical VATS procedures, adding in lymphadenectomies, several new add-on codes, as well as indicating in revised text that you can't report a diagnostic VATS with a surgical VATS. If you can get your hands on a 2012 book, you can see that the changes are significant.

    In 2012, you can bill a 32663 (lobectomy) with a diagnostic wedge resection +32668. (new add-on code).

    If your surgery was done in 2011, I wouldn't bill the VATS wedge then the VATS lobectomy, even with resultant pathology. I would report the lobectomy with the -58, only if he opens. If not, bill the VATS lobectomy only.

    The RAC hasn't really dug into physician surgical work that I'm aware of. We've had RAC requests primarily for our inpatient claims.
    Pam Brooks, MHA, CPC, PCS, COC
    Coding Manager
    Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
    Dover, NH 03820

    If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney

  3. #3


    Thank you. Yes the procedures he did were for 2011.

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