AHA Coding Clinic® for ICD-9 - 2012 Issue 3; Ask the Editor

Angioplasty, Atherectomy, and Stent Insertion

I am familiar with the Coding Clinic, Fourth Quarter, 1996, page 63, advice that stated that “an angioplasty, by any technique, is performed in the placement of a stent(s), code 39.50, Angioplasty or atherectomy of non-coronary vessel should be assigned in addition to code 39.90, Insertion of non-coronary artery stent or stents.” I have reviewed the FY 2012 index and tabular changes for code 17.5 (atherectomy), 39.50 (angioplasty), 39.90/00.55 (stents) and my question boils down to: 1) When an arterial stent is inserted and there is no mention of separate angioplasty or atherectomy, then is angioplasty code 39.50 still assumed and coded as per the Coding Clinic guideline above?  2) When an arterial stent is inserted (00.55/39.90) and also there is atherectomy (17.5x), then are those two codes sufficient, ‘or’ does an angioplasty code (39.50) also get reported because of the stent insertion method? ...

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