Coding Cardiac Catheterization — Medical Coding Tutorial

Coding Cardiac Catheterization — Medical Coding Tutorial

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So here we go, coding cardiac caths. First of all, when I teach this to my students, I make them stop a minute. We hear it all the time but sometimes, as a coder, we need to stop and ask, “What is it really? What are they doing?” And it’s a diagnostic procedure. They’re not trying to fix anything. They’re trying to diagnose a problem. And the way they do that is with imaging. They want to take a picture of the heart and in order to get a good image, they need to get dye going through the vessels so they can visualize that. In order to get the dye in, they got to put a catheter up there. So if you can keep that in mind, that will help you. I did find really, two excellent YouTube videos that are designed more for patients who are about to get the procedure but very, very visual. I will invite you to go ahead and click on them. Even if you go to YouTube and just Google cardiac catheterization procedure… not Google, YouTube. And for our Replay Club members that get that handout packet you know, this will be hyperlinked and you can go check it out.

So prior to 2001, when you coded a cardiac cath, you actually needed 3 codes at a minimum. You needed 1 catheterization code to say if it’s the one on the right or the left. You needed one or more injection codes, because wherever you inject the dye would get a code, and then one or more imaging codes, you know, where did you take images? Was it of the chambers of the heart? Was it of coronary vessels? So in 2011, they came out with packaging these cardiac cath codes.

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