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Superb Tricks for CPT code 29881, 29880 and 29877

Knee Arthroscopy- CPT code 29881, 29880 and 29877

Coding Knee arthroscopic procedures looks tricky but are not that confusing. There are few codes have been bundled with major knee arthroscopic procedures. For example, now the CPT codes 29881 and 29880 will include the chondroplasty procedure if performed on same knee. Chondroplasty performed in any of the compartment like medial, lateral or patella-femoral, it will be included with CPT code 29881 and 29880.In arthroscopic knee surgery, the above three compartment play an important role in selecting a correct procedure code. Like CPT code 29881 is coded for of surgical meniscectomy for medial or lateral compartment. If meniscectomy is performed on both compartments, CPT code 29880 is assigned. In both procedures, chondroplasty will be included if performed on same knee irrespective of the compartment. Below are the CPT code descriptions for knee arthroscopic procedures.

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29880—Arthroscopy, knee, surgical; with meniscectomy (medial AND lateral, including any meniscal shaving), including debridement/shaving of articular cartilage (chondroplasty), same or separate compartment(s), when performed

29881—Arthroscopy, knee, surgical; with meniscectomy (medial OR lateral, including any meniscal shaving) including debridement/shaving of articular cartilage (chondroplasty), same or separate compartment(s), when performed

29877 – Arthroscopy, knee, surgical; debridement/shaving of articular cartilage (chondroplasty)

Superb Tricks for CPT code 29881, 29880 and 29877

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When to use CPT code 29881,29880 and 29877

CPT code 29877 is included with CPT code 29881 and 29880 when performed on same knee. However, if the procedures are performed on different knee, for example Chondroplasty is performed on left knee and meniscectomy is performed on right knee in such cases we can code them together using 59 modifier. When Chondroplasty is coded with meniscectomy CPT code 29881 and 29880, the procedure code 29877 will be appended with 59 or the new XP, XS, XU, XE modifier. Never use the chondroplasty CPT code 29877 along with meniscectomy when performed on same knee. The procedures will not get paid in such scenarios and the claim will be denied.

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Do and Don’t with CPT code 29881 and 29880

Do not use CPT code 29881 and 29880 together unless the procedures are performed on different knee. If performed on different knee, use them together will appropriate modifier.
Do not use CPT code 29877 with CPT code 29881 and 29880 if performed on same knee. Chondroplasty is included with CPT 29881 and 29880 and should not coded separately.
Do code Chondroplasty when performed on different knee with CPT code 29881 and 29880. CPT code 29877 should be appended with modifier 59 when coded with CPT 29881 and 29880.

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