ACOA Coding Minute


Medical Oncology Code Changes

ACOA’s Coding Corner – July 2006

Headframe Removal

When stereotactic radiosurgery is performed on cranial lesions, it may be necessary for a headframe to be placed by the neurosurgeon or the radiation oncologist. The placement of the headframe is not separately reported – it is considered to be bundled into other services performed on the same day. However, there is a code that has both a professional and technical (OPPS) component for the removal of the headframe by a physician other than the one who placed it:  

Removal of tongs or halo applied by another physician This code is not reported when one radiation oncologist places the headframe and another member of the same group removes it, because Medicare (and most payors) considers members of the same group to function as a single entity. This code is typically reported when the neurosurgeon places the headframe and the radiation oncologist removes it.

Watch for more coding changes in the upcoming months.  Review previous Coding and Reimbursement Updates.

This Coding and Reimbursement Update was prepared by:
Cindy C. Parman, CPC, CPC-H
Coding Strategies, Inc.

Phone: (877) 6CODING

Fax: (770) 445-0407

[email protected]

Cindy C. Parman, CPC, CPC-Hcparman-2536704
principal and co-founder of Coding Strategies, Inc. in Atlanta, GA. Cindy is a current member of the Advisory Board for the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and a faculty instructor for AMA Solutions, a subsidiary of the American Medical Association.  She serves as the Consulting Editor of the Radiology Coding Alert and is on the Editorial Advisory Board of General Surgery Coding Alert and Pain Management Coding Alert.