Follow an eight-step formula for correct spine coding

Spine Surgery Today, September/October 2014
Teri Romano, BSN, MBA, CPC, CMDP, and Kim Pollock, RN, MBA, CPC

Reporting the “just right” CPT codes isn’t easy for spine surgeons and coders. In fact, it is complicated. If you under code, in effect, you “pick your own pocket” by losing revenue and/or relative value unit. Overcoding leads to denials, inflated accounts receivable and a possible audit with a payback.

Try this organized approach to answer key questions to submit accurate codes the first time. The benefit of using our technique means you increase the chance of your claim being coded correctly — with no reworks, denials or time-consuming appeals.

If you are in academic practice, share this technique with your fellows and residents. For private practice surgeons, keep the Figure on your phone to use as a dictation prompt to make sure your operative reports have all necessary information. Coders will also benefit by using these eight steps as their guide.

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