CPT codes 62310 – CPT 62311 and CPT 62318-62319 (Epidural or subarachnoid injections of diagnostic or therapeutic substance) may be reported on the date of surgery if performed for postoperative pain management rather than as the means for providing the regional block for the surgical procedure.
If a narcotic or other analgesic is injected postoperatively through the same catheter as the anesthetic agent, CPT codes 62310-62319 should not be reported for postoperative pain management. However, if epidural or subarachnoid injections are not utilized for operative anesthesia, but are utilized for postoperative pain management, modifier 59 may be reported to indicate that the epidural/subarachnoid injection was performed for postoperative pain management rather than intraoperative pain management.
Pain management performed by an anesthesia practitioner after the postoperative anesthesia care period terminates may be separately reportable. However, postoperative pain management by the physician performing a surgical procedure is not separately reportable by that physician. Postoperative pain management is included in the global surgical package.
Example: A patient has an epidural block with sedation and monitoring for arthroscopic knee surgery. The anesthesia practitioner reports CPT code 01382 (Anesthesia for diagnostic arthroscopic procedures of knee joint). The epidural catheter is left in place for postoperative pain management. The anesthesia practitioner should not also report CPT codes 62311 or CPT 62319 (epidural/subarachnoid injection of diagnostic or therapeutic substance), or CPT 01996 (daily management of epidural) on the date of surgery.
CPT code 01996 may be reported with one unit of service per day on subsequent days until the catheter is removed. On the other hand, if the anesthesia practitioner performed general anesthesia reported as CPT code 01382 and at the request of the operating physician inserted an epidural catheter for treatment of anticipated postoperative pain, the anesthesia practitioner may report CPT code 62319-59 indicating that this is a separate service from the anesthesia service.
In this instance, the service is separately reportable whether the catheter is placed before, during, or after the surgery. Since treatment of postoperative pain is included in the global surgical package, the operating physician may request the assistance of the anesthesia practitioner if the degree of postoperative pain is expected to exceed the skills and experience of the operating physician to manage it. If the epidural catheter was placed on a different date than the surgery, modifier 59 would not be necessary.
Effective January 1, 2004, daily hospital management of continuous epidural or subarachnoid drug administration performed on the day(s) subsequent to the placement of an epidural or subarachnoid catheter (CPT codes 62318-62319) may be reported as CPT code 01996.