Does anyone have any insight or advise on "separate procedure" distinction codes. For example, a surgeon performs an inguinal hernia (49505) but also performs excision spermatic cord lipoma (55520). Because these are via the same incision the surgeon is billing for the highest surgically valued procedure 49505 but for anesthesia purposes 55520 has highest value.
I don't know if I'm overthinking this case but since it's a two unit differential I'd like other anesthesia coder's opinions. Do you feel it is appropriate to bill the 55520/00860 for the anesthesia service in keeping with the ASA Billing Guideline of reporting the code with the highest base unit value?
Julie Drueppel, CPC
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