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Rotator Cuff Repair Coding: Catch the Arthroscopy Every Time

Posted on 09. Apr, 2009 by in Hot Coding Topics

Acute or chronic? A $60 difference is at stake.

If you’re not pinpointing where the orthopedic surgeon began a shoulder surgery, you could be overlooking separately reportable pre-repair procedures.

More shoulder coding tips from Annette Grady. On MP3 or CD.

Take a swing at the following real-life shoulder situation to see how your coding skills fare.

Scenario: A 61-year-old general contractor has been having severe left shoulder pain for the last six months, which is now awakening him from sleep. Physical therapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) have failed to resolve the problem. The orthopedist’s physical exam demonstrates positive impingement signs, with weakness on testing abduction and external rotation. X-ray reveals a type 2 acromion and small cystic changes in the greater tuberosity. MRI is positive for acromial impingement on the rotator cuff and shows a small rotator cuff tear. The orthopedic surgeon performs shoulder...

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