Investigate percutaneous transluminal coronary lithotripsy Category III CPT add-on code 0715T

Nov. 22, 2023

Lithotripsy was developed in the early 1980s with the intent of breaking apart kidney stones. The shock wave technology has now been extended and adapted to have the same effect in coronary arteries to break up calcified plaque. Since then, it has been adopted and accepted as a treatment option for coronary artery disease. 

Disease description 

Coronary artery disease is defined as plaque (calcium, cholesterol, and fat) that accumulates along the walls of arteries, causing the heart to not receive enough blood. Stents can be used; however, some stents cannot fully expand when the artery is hardened by the calcium deposits. In these cases, IVL technology can destroy the calcification. 

Technology overview 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval for the Shockwave C2 Coronary Intravascular Lithotripsy (IVL) catheter in February 2021. The device is a balloon-catheter system with lithotripters integrated into a balloon mixed with contrast and saline. The purpose of the lithotripters is to generate short duration shockwaves that break apart the calcified plaque in the coronary arteries. The shock waves are similar to the type used in extracorporeal lithotripsy for kidney stones. 

To learn the components and procedure outline of IVL, and to get coding tips and a clinical example, read the full article in JustCoding. 

Niki Crawford, CCS-P, CPC, RCC, CCP-AS, CCP, QMC, clinical development analyst at 3MHealth Information Systems.