tci Outpatient Facility Coding Alert - 2017 Issue 4

You Be the Coder: Polyp Ablation During Colonoscopy

Question: We encountered a colonoscopy patient recently who required a laser tumor ablation. What is the procedure, and how should we code this? Utah Subscriber Answer: You will use colonoscopy code 45388 (Colonoscopy, flexible; with ablation of tumor[s], polyp[s], or other lesion[s] [includes pre- and post-dilation and guide wire passage, when performed]). Because the term “ablation” simply means “to remove or excise,” most physicians use the term to refer to using argon plasma coagulators (APC), lasers, heater probes or other devices to cauterize a lesion, angiodysplasia, polyp or a previously removed polyp’s remnants to the...

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