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Ultimate Guide for CPT code for Chest Tube Placement

Since there have been few changes with chest tube placement procedure codes, medical coders face a little difficulty in find correct CPT code. Earlier the codes where very clear enough to understand. But, with the revised codes and new codes we have to use them initially carefully, to understand for what procedure they should be coded. Now, let us check out the new and the revised CPT code for Chest tube placement in Interventional radiology facility. These cpt codes for not as difficult to code as Nephrostomy tube placement or Transhepatic cholangiogram procedures. Once you understand them, you can easily code them.

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Ultimate Guide for CPT code for Chest Tube Placement

Cpt Code for chest tube placement for Open procedures

There is only one revised code in this Procedure. CPT code 32551 is earlier used for percutaneous procedure for chest tube placement. But, with the new updates this codes has been revised and now it should be used only for open procedure. But, since this code has now almost deleted in interventional radiology, we have also check the new CPT codes for placement for Chest tube. So, keep in mind that we have separate new CPT codes for chest tube placement, so use 32551 CPT code only for open surgery procedure.

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CPT code for chest tube placement for non-tunneled Catheter

Now, we will introduce these new CPT codes 32556 and 32557, which are to be used for chest tube placement for non-tunneled pleural catheter or chest tube placement. It is very important to check whether the catheter is placed in non-tunneled or tunneled, since we have separate codes for each of them. Now, first we will checkout the main difference between these two code 32556 and 32557.

32556     Pleural drainage, percutaneous, with insertion of indwelling catheter; without imaging guidance

32557     with imaging guidance

With the above description for CPT code for Chest tube placement, it will very clear the main difference between them and that is the use of imaging guidance. So, check the presence or use of imaging guidance for coding CPT code for chest tube placement.

CPT code for Chest tube Placement for Tunneled Catheter

As I mentioned previously, we have separate code for non-tunneled and tunneled catheter for chest tube placement. So, for placement of indwelling tunneled pleural catheter with cuff in chest we use CPT code 32550. So, be careful using this CPT code, which is supposed to be used only for tunneled placed chest tube catheters.

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