Varicose veins are abnormally large veins that bulge through the skin, usually in the legs. They can be painful for many people, whether they're walking or staying still.
Many treatment recommendations exist on how to reduce the swelling of varicose veins, including surgical options. For medical billing purposes, these procedures need to be coded, as do the supplies that may be used.
For clarification purposes, procedures codes are called CPT-4 codes, although many people use that term and HCPCS interchangeably. HCPCS codes actually refer to what's known as Level II codes, which cover extended procedures and supply codes. Code descriptions can be very long; they are truncated here, so it's recommended you read through the manuals for complete descriptions.
CPT Codes for Varicose Vein EvaluationBefore any treatment can begin, evaluations must be given to determine the type of treatment that needs to take place. The CPT-4 codes used for those determinations include the following codes. The initial one is a radiology code, while the other codes are categorized as Extremity Venous Studies. These codes are:
- CPT Code 76942 Ultrasonic Guidance for Needle Placement.
- CPT Code 93965 Noninvasive Physiologic Studies of Extremity Veins.
- CPT Code 93970 Duplex Scan of Extremity Veins.
- CPT Code 93971 Duplex Scan of Extremity Veins.
Varicose Vein Procedures TypesThere are three main treatment categories for varicose veins. Though all of the codes are listed within the surgical category of CPT-4 codes, not all of the procedures are actually surgical procedures. Also, none of these codes are exclusive during a day of treatment.
It means if a physician wishes to perform multiple procedures in one day, it can be done as long as the medical documentation supports it. However, some codes can't be billed together on the same day, so it's best to verify those codes through the coding manual.
The least invasive of the three varicose vein surgical treatments introduces solutions into the veins, usually via a drip process to try to reduce the hardening that's taken place.
- CPT Code 36468 Single or Multiple Injections of Sclerosing Solutions.
- CPT Code 36470 Injection of Sclerosing Solution; Single Vein.
- CPT Code 36471 Injection of Sclerosing Solution; Multiple Veins, Same Leg.
Endovenous Ablation Therapy CPT CodesAblation therapy means varicose veins will be treated by inserting a solution and then heating it up with an outside source. The source is indicated within the codes below:
- CPT Code 36475
Ablation therapy of incompetent vein, percutaneous, radiofrequency; first vein treated
- CPT Code 36476
Ablation therapy of incompetent vein, percutaneous, radiofrequency; second and subsequent veins
- CPT Code 36478
Ablation therapy of incompetent vein, percutaneous, laser; first vein treated
- CPT Code 36479
Ablation therapy of incompetent vein, percutaneous, laser; second and subsequent veins
Vein Ligation Surgery CPT CodesThese codes indicate actual surgical procedures. Hospitals might not use these codes for billing purposes, deciding instead to use surgical ICD-9, or diagnosis codes, but physicians will need to use at least one of these codes:
- CPT Code 37700
Ligation and division of long saphenous vein at saphenofemoral junction.
- CPT Code 37718
Ligation, division, and stripping, short saphenous vein.
- CPT Code 37722
Ligation, division, and stripping, long (greater) saphenous veins from saphenofemoral junction to knee or below.
- CPT Code 37735
Ligation and division and complete stripping of long or short saphenous veins.
- CPT Code 37760
Ligation of perforator veins, subfascial, radical.
- CPT Code 37765
Stab phlebectomy of varicose veins, one extremity; 10-20 stab incisions.
- CPT Code 37766
Stab phlebectomy of varicose veins, one extremity; more than 20 incisions.
- CPT Code 37780
Ligation and division of short saphenous vein at saphenopopliteal junction.
- CPT Code 37799
Unlisted procedure, vascular surgery.