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Are There Codes to Idenitfy the Left or Right Side of the Spine?

By:  Brandy Brimhall
Published:  June 27th, 2016

Q: We cannot find codes to identify the left or right side of the spine, such as with low back pain.  Do we add digits 1 or 2 to the code to clarify left or right?

A: No.  Codes pertaining to the spine are not specific to laterality.  The codes do require laterality specificity are for extremities.  Do not add any characters of numbers to any codes that do not specifically require this in the coding instructions.  This will result in erroneous coding and a rejection or denial.  Please carefully review coding instructions before making an assumption that something on a code needs added. 



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