Cardiology Question for the Week of August 8, 2016

Question:

Question:

Prior to placing a percutaneous ventricular assist device, my physician places a catheter and documents “findings” of the vessels surrounding the location of this device. Can I bill this as a diagnostic angiogram? The ordered and scheduled procedure was the placement of the Impella device only.

Answer:

Answer:

Based upon the typical methodology you described and what is the “norm” for this procedure, it would not be appropriate to code separately for the injection of contrast prior to the planned and ordered placement of the Impella device. In addition, the codes for ventricular device placement (33990–33991) include imaging guidance. This would include localizing/roadmapping imaging.