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!

Register for our March webinars if you need more education on coding these procedures.

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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