When coding an angioplasty of the basilar artery, ICD-9-CM's Index to Procedures leads to code 00.61, Percutaneous angioplasty or atherectomy of precerebral (extracranial) vessel(s). However, our Interventional Radiologists state that the basilar artery is not a precerebral (extracranial) vessel but an intracranial vessel. Please provide clarification as to the correct procedure code assignment for angioplasty of the basilar artery.
For now, assign code 00.61, Percutaneous angioplasty or atherectomy of precerebral (extracranial) vessels(s), since the index leads to this code assignment and ICD-9-CM classifies the procedure in this manner. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the organization that has oversight for modification to the procedure classification (Volume 3) of ICD-9-CM, is reviewing this issue and will modify the index as needed. In the interim continue to follow the index.