tci Outpatient Facility Coding Alert - 2014 Issue 9

Reader Question: 31615 Covers Both Surgical and Diagnostic Bronchoscopy

Question: A vent dependent patient underwent bronchoscopy through an established tract. The findings were mucus plugs in the left lung and a 3mm endobrachial lesion at the start of the right lung’s middle lobe bronchus. Will code 31615 cover this bronchoscopy with the biopsy and mucus plug suction? Or should we use 31623, 31624, or 31625? Minnesota Subscriber Answer: Yes, the correct code for a flexible bronchoscopy via a tracheostomy is 31615 (Tracheobronchoscopy through established tracheostomy incision). This code covers elements of both the surgical work (removal of obstructing crusts) and diagnostic bronchoscopy when the same physician performs...

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