September 19, 2019
Can I code 95971 for intraoperative testing of the implantable pulse generator (IPG) when the spinal cord stimulator is placed? The operative note says “intraoperative testing was performed to confirm the appropriate connections.”
CPT guidelines state “test stimulation is not considered electronic analysis or programming” and “is included in the service described by the implantation code.” The actual parameters to which the neurostimulator is programmed must be documented as performed by the surgeon in the operative note to support separately reporting a programming code such as 95971.
*This response is based on the best information available as of 09/19/19.