2024 CPT VBT Updates
We continue our deep dive into the 2024 CPT changes this week with a focus on the new established Category I codes and impacted Category III codes for Anterior Thoracic Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT) due to increased adoption and utilization.
VBT is used to correct scoliosis without spinal fusion using a tether (cord) that compresses the convex vertebral growth plates inhibiting their growth, while allowing the concave growth plates to grow. The new codes 22836 – 22938 were added to report anterior thoracic VBT and the existing Category III codes (0656T, 0657T) for VBT were revised to clarify that they are limited to the lumbar or thoracolumbar spine region. To match the new Category I code structure, code 0790T was added to report revision, replacement, or removal of thoracolumbar or lumbar VBT.
To ensure proper reporting of these codes when reading the op note look for documentation that identifies:
- Is the procedure the initial application of the tether or a revision of a previously placed tether
- What region of the spine is being tethered – thoracic or lumbar/thoracolumbar
- How many vertebral segments were tethered – 1- 7 or 8 or more
- Was anterior instrumentation also performed – if yes do not report 22836 or 22837.