Have you ever been presented with a several-page operative report for a spinal fusion surgery and felt overwhelmed? And you don’t know where to start? Then this is the webinar for you! 

Have you ever heard the question; how do you eat an elephant? The answer one bite at a time!  That is precisely the approach we will be doing with this webinar!  During this one-hour webinar, we will dig into the four main elements that can be part of every spine surgery:   

  1. Arthrodesis and Grafting 
  2. Decompression and Corpectomy 
  3. Instrumentation and Devices 
  4. Osteotomy and Spinal Deformity Correction 

When you understand each of these elements, you can apply that to coding any spinal fusion procedure.  It allows you to dissect the operative report into smaller, more manageable pieces.  It is common for a spinal fusion surgery to have ten or more CPT codes, so by looking for each of these four areas individually, you can be confident that you won’t miss anything. Not every spine fusion will have all of these elements performed, but it’s important to know what to look for when they do. 

It’s also important to understand that sometimes the operative report is hard to code due to the way it is documented, so this webinar will help with areas that may need a provider query.  An example could be when the type of interbody device used is not specified. We need to know if it’s biomechanical or structural graft to assign the correct CPT code.  

Deanna Upston, CPMA, CPC, COSC

Deanna Upston, CPMA, CPC, COSC


Deanna is a consultant for The Haugen Consulting Group with over 20 years of health care industry experience.  Her introduction was through medical assisting, which she enjoyed for several years. Once she was established at a surgeon’s office, she started coding their surgical cases and discovered that was her favorite part of the day. Deanna has experience working on the professional fee side of coding, audit, education and compliance serving coders and physicians.  She has put together multiple education sessions for both provider and coder.  She also has experience working as an analyst in which she validated the integrity of editing logic during the implementation of claim scrubbing software.

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