How To Use CPT Code 30520
CPT 30520 refers to a septoplasty or submucous resection procedure, with or without cartilage scoring, contouring, or replacement with graft. This article will cover the description, procedure, qualifying circumstances, appropriate usage, documentation requirements, billing guidelines, historical information, similar codes, and examples of CPT 30520.
1. What is CPT 30520?
CPT 30520 is a medical code used to describe a surgical procedure known as septoplasty or submucous resection. This procedure is performed to correct a deviated septum, which can cause breathing difficulties, nasal congestion, and other issues. The code encompasses the procedure with or without cartilage scoring, contouring, or replacement with graft.
2. 30520 CPT code description
The official description of CPT code 30520 is: “Septoplasty or submucous resection, with or without cartilage scoring, contouring or replacement with graft.”
The 30520 procedure involves the following steps:
- Administration of local anesthesia to the patient.
- Creation of a Freer hemitransfixion incision or a Killian incision, depending on the area of the septum affected.
- Exposure of the cartilaginous and bony septum and elevation of the mucosal flap.
- Removal of irregular bones and cartilage using a Tru-Cut® instrument.
- Returning the flaps to their normal position.
- Closure of the incision with sutures.
- Application of a splint to support the healing process.
4. Qualifying circumstances
Patients eligible to receive CPT code 30520 services are those who have a deviated septum causing significant breathing difficulties, nasal congestion, recurrent sinus infections, or other related issues. A thorough evaluation by a healthcare provider, including a physical examination and medical history, is necessary to determine if the patient is a suitable candidate for the procedure.
5. When to use CPT code 30520
It is appropriate to bill the 30520 CPT code when a patient undergoes a septoplasty or submucous resection procedure to correct a deviated septum. The code should be used for procedures that involve cartilage scoring, contouring, or replacement with graft, as well as those that do not.
6. Documentation requirements
To support a claim for CPT 30520, the following information should be documented:
- Patient’s medical history and physical examination findings, including the presence of a deviated septum and related symptoms.
- Details of the procedure performed, including the type of incision, instruments used, and any cartilage scoring, contouring, or grafting.
- Postoperative care instructions and follow-up appointments.
- Any complications or adverse events that occurred during or after the procedure.
7. Billing guidelines
When billing for CPT code 30520, it is essential to follow the appropriate guidelines and rules. Ensure that the patient’s medical record contains the necessary documentation to support the claim, as outlined in the documentation requirements section. Additionally, be aware of any specific payer policies or requirements that may apply to the billing of this code.
8. Historical information
CPT 30520 was added to the Current Procedural Terminology system on January 1, 1990. There have been no significant updates to the code since its addition.
9. Similar codes to CPT 30520
Five similar codes to CPT 30520 and how they differ are as follows:
- CPT 30140: This code is used for submucous resection of turbinates, which is a different procedure than septoplasty.
- CPT 30400: This code refers to a rhinoplasty procedure, which is a cosmetic surgery to reshape the nose, not a septoplasty.
- CPT 30420: This code is for a combined rhinoplasty and septoplasty procedure, whereas CPT 30520 is for septoplasty alone.
- CPT 31237: This code is used for endoscopic nasal/sinus surgery, which is a different approach than the open surgical technique used in CPT 30520.
- CPT 31276: This code refers to an endoscopic frontal sinusotomy, which is a different procedure than septoplasty and targets a different area of the nasal cavity.
Here are 10 detailed examples of CPT code 30520 procedures:
- A patient with a C-shaped deviated septum undergoes septoplasty with cartilage scoring and contouring to improve nasal airflow.
- A patient with an S-shaped deviated septum undergoes septoplasty without cartilage scoring, contouring, or grafting to alleviate chronic sinus infections.
- A patient with a cartilaginous deviation undergoes septoplasty with cartilage replacement using a graft to correct the deformity and improve breathing.
- A patient with a deviated septum causing sleep apnea undergoes septoplasty with cartilage contouring to improve nighttime breathing.
- A patient with a deviated septum and recurrent nosebleeds undergoes septoplasty with cartilage scoring to reduce the frequency of bleeding episodes.
- A patient with a deviated septum causing facial pain undergoes septoplasty without cartilage scoring, contouring, or grafting to alleviate discomfort.
- A patient with a deviated septum and chronic nasal congestion undergoes septoplasty with cartilage contouring to improve airflow and reduce congestion.
- A patient with a deviated septum causing difficulty breathing during exercise undergoes septoplasty with cartilage scoring to enhance athletic performance.
- A patient with a deviated septum and frequent sinus headaches undergoes septoplasty with cartilage replacement using a graft to alleviate headache symptoms.
- A patient with a deviated septum causing impaired sense of smell undergoes septoplasty without cartilage scoring, contouring, or grafting to restore olfactory function.