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  1. #1
    Default Tibb20
    Medical Coding Books
    This is going to sound very ignorant but I am VERY new to this. For coding knee arthroscopy, how do you tell the difference between diagnostic (29870) and surgical (29880) procedures? Please help!

  2. #2
    for diagnostic, they pretty much go in and look, possibly determine a diagnosis and thats it.

    If its surgical, you will see in the op note that they actually did something...debridement, resected, etc. Look for those types of key words

    Hope this helps

  3. #3
    Default Tibb20
    Thanks, it defininately does help. I seem to still be confused however. I have come across two similar charts, both with the 29870-LT code. One even had a cyst drained in the area and that was not coded at all. Are those incorrect? I would have used code 29880, is that correct?
    Last edited by LTibbetts; 11-03-2008 at 07:58 AM.

  4. #4
    29880 seems more appropriate based on the info you have provided. Depending on the documentation, the cyst could be bundled, really just depends on that one.

  5. #5
    Default Tibb20
    Thanks so much for your help. It's nice to know that I was on the right track and it's just another example to trust my own instincts and coding ability.

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