The work of a neurosurgical coder encompasses many different types of procedures and takes you all over the CPT book. There are sections for work on the spine, the spinal cord, nerves, and brain. Since March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness month, we decided March would be a great time to dive into procedure coding for the brain!
As a neurosurgical coder you may have noticed that several CPT codes for craniotomy or craniectomy state exactly that, either craniotomy or craniectomy may be used to report the code, so you may not have known what the difference is. Both procedures involve creating a bone flap, in a craniotomy the bone flap is immediately replaced at the end of the procedure, in a craniectomy, it is not immediately replaced. It may not be rocket science, but it is brain surgery!
Deanna Upston, CPMA, CPC, COSC