Q: For the customizable interbody fusion device, is discectomy included or coded separately?
A: Per the New Technology guidelines, the codes in the New Technology table report the only the steps of the procedure covered by that root operation. In table XRF, the root operation is Fusion, which includes rendering the joint immobile. Similar to other fusion procedures, it does not include other procedures, such as discectomy or release of the nerve root.
Q: Many of the new substances introduced in the XW0 table have the same substance value as existing substances. How do you know the difference between them?
A: Because there are so many substances in the New Technology Introduction (XW0) table, many values had to be reused for new substances. The substance definition for a given sixth character substance value will be defined by the qualifier. You will notice that codes that have more than one substance assigned to a specific 6th character value will have different qualifiers. The qualifiers in New Technology section codes indicate the year in which they were released.
Kristi Pollard, RHIT, CCS, CPC, CIRCC, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer
Kristi also performs DRG and APC audits and is known for her vast knowledge on coding vascular interventional radiology procedures. Kristi has an extensive background in coding education and consulting and is a national speakers on topics related to ICD-10 and CPT coding as well as code-based reimbursement.