Cardiology Question for the Week of April 4, 2016

Question:

I have a patient who had multiple drug-eluting stents (DES) placed recently: two separate DES to left anterior descending (LD), one DES to left circumflex (LC), and one DES to the right coronary (RC).  Do I bill C9600 x 1 and C9601 x 3, or C9600 x 3 and C9601 x 1?

Answer

There are five major coronary arteries: 

  • Left main coronary artery 
  • Left anterior descending coronary artery
  • Left circumflex coronary artery 
  • Right coronary artery
  • Ramus intermedius coronary artery.

CPT guidelines allow you to report a primary code for each of these five arteries. Since you placed a DES in each of three major coronary arteries, you would report C9600 x3. The stent codes are reported once per vessel, so the second stent in the LD would not be separately coded.  If the second stent had been placed in a diagonal branch to treat a separate lesion, C9601 would be assigned.

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