Q:  Is there a code for placement of a bone flap in the abdominal subcutaneous tissue for "storage" until the bone flap can be replaced?

A:  Actually yes. CPT code 61316 is an add-on code that can be reported with an appropriate craniectomy code when a subcutaneous incision is made, and the bone is stored there temporarily.

Q: Of the one I already listed; what if the patient had the bone flap stored in the subcutaneous tissue? Is there a code for removing it from the abdomen or is that included in the cranioplasty code?

A:  Yes, CPT code 62148 is incision and retrieval of the bone graft. It is also an add-on code to be reported only with cranioplasty codes 62140-62147.

Q:  Is it appropriate to report add-on code 61781, Stereotactic computer-assisted (navigational) procedure; cranial, intradural, in conjunction with code 61863? 

A:  No. As stated in the parenthetical guidelines in the CPT 2014 Professional Edition codebook (p. 346), Do not report 61781 in conjunction with 61720-61791, 61796-61799, 61863-61868, 62201, 77371-77373, 77432. The stereotactic components are included.

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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