Microscope with 63030 Issues

Microscope with 63030 Issues

June 28, 2018

Why do some insurance companies pay for the microscope (+69990) when we bill it for a lumbar discectomy (63030) and some don’t? I don’t get it. What recourse do we have if it isn’t paid? 

First, CPT guidelines do not list 63030 as inclusive of the microscope so reporting 63030 and +69990 together is accurate per the AMA’s CPT coding rules.  That said, Medicare has a National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) edit preventing payment for +69990 when billed with 63030 (and many other laminectomy codes).  This is Medicare’s payment rule. Some non-Medicare payors follow this NCCI bundling edit and also will not pay.  On the other hand, some non-Medicare payors don’t follow this edit and do reimburse +69990 when reported with 63030.  If you are contracted with the payor who does not reimburse +69990, with 63030, then you likely don’t have much recourse because you are contractually obligated to follow their payment rules.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 06/28/18.

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