Neurovascular medical coding focuses on conditions and procedures related to the intricate network of blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the brain and spinal cord. This coding specialty encompasses a wide range of conditions, including strokes, aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and procedures such as angiography, embolization, and thrombectomy.

It’s important to have a good understanding of the anatomy and to read code descriptions carefully. For example, within the codes for diagnostic studies of the Cervicocerebral Arteries you may have noticed how similar CPT codes 36222® and 36223® are. In fact, the only difference between them is the performance of intracranial carotid artery imaging. CPT 36222® includes extracranial carotid artery imaging and code 36223® includes extracranial as well as intracranial imaging. CPT 36223® includes the work of 36222® and this is just one example of how these procedures are built on a hierarchy and only the most comprehensive code gets reported per side.

Please join us for our September webinar, Knowing Neurovascular, as we take a deep dive into the coding of this complex area.

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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