Coding Clinic, Fifth Issue 1993, page 12, advised that when sick sinus syndrome (SSS) is controlled by a pacemaker, no code assignment is required if no attention or treatment is provided to the condition or the device. However, we are seeing records where the patient is admitted for an unrelated condition, but during the stay the physician does an interrogation of the pacemaker. Is it appropriate to assign a code for sick sinus syndrome, as a chronic condition, when a patient has a previously placed pacemaker and it is interrogated during the hospitalization?
Assign code V53.31, Fitting and adjustment of other device, Cardiac device, cardiac pacemaker, as an additional code assignment. A code is not assigned for sick sinus syndrome when it is being controlled by the pacemaker and no problems are detected during the check. Interrogation is a routine check, which is done via computer to assess pacemaker function. The pacemaker is routinely evaluated to ensure the device is programmed accurately as well as to assess battery and lead function. Pacemaker settings may be reprogrammed, if required. Interrogation of the device can be done in the inpatient setting or in the office setting.
Code 89.45, Artificial pacemaker rate check, may be assigned for the procedure.