Globals and Clogged Drains

October 1, 2008

During the 90-day global period, if we need to irrigate or replace a clogged drainage or feeding tube during an office visit, is this a billable procedure?

Question: During the 90-day global period, if we need to irrigate or replace a clogged drainage or feeding tube during an office visit, is this a billable procedure?

Answer: The correct answer is “maybe.” The surgical package, according to CPT, includes “typical” follow-up care. It does not include “postoperative complications, exacerbations, and recurrences.”

So is a blocked tube routine? Every payer will have a different answer.

You definitely need to look at Medicare’s NCCI edits with the specific codes you’d like to use in hand. From there, it’s payer-specific.