Question: If a patient has a laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy, which anesthesia CPT® code should we use? One opinion is that if the work is done abdominally, we should report 00840. Another opinion is that even if the work is done abdominally, if the speculum is removed vaginally, then the anesthesia provider should bill 00944. Which is correct?
Answer: According to the ASA’s RVG book, the correct code is 00840 (Anesthesia for intraperitoneal procedures in lower abdomen including laparoscopy; not otherwise specified) rather than 00944 (Anesthesia for vaginal procedures [including biopsy of labia, vagina, cervix or endometrium]; vaginal hysterectomy).
Both anesthesia codes are worth 6 base units, so the reimbursement is the same. However, 00840 is more accurate in this situation and is what the ASA recommends, so that’s what you should report.