Pain Management CPT Codes – Comprehensive Guide For Ease

by | Oct 2, 2023

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In the sphere of healthcare, precision is vital, especially in the realm of pain management. Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes serve as the linchpin in this process. They are more than just numbers; they are the language of healthcare billing, ensuring accurate documentation and billing for patient services.

This comprehensive guide aims to describe the pain management CPT codes, elucidating their significance and providing the knowledge necessary to navigate the intricacies of medical billing. Whether you’re a healthcare professional seeking clarity on accurate coding or a patient interested in understanding billing processes, this guide provides essential insights.

We will explore various categories of pain management CPT codes, delve into proper documentation and coding practices, discuss common pain management scenarios, and touch on compliance, regulations, billing, and reimbursement considerations. Join us on this journey to demystify pain management CPT codes and equip yourself with the expertise required for effective pain management medical billing.

Comprehensive List of CPT Codes for Pain Management and Interventional Procedures

Joints and Bursa – Injection or Aspiration

  • Major joint/bursa (e.g., knee, hip, shoulder, trochanteric bursa):CPT 20610
  • Intermediate joint/bursa (e.g., temporomandibular, acromioclavicular):CPT 20605
  • Minor joint/bursa (e.g., fingers, toes):CPT 20600
  • Sacroiliac joint (SIJ) with fluoroscopy:CPT 27096
  • Fluoroscopic needle guidance (non-spinal):CPT 77002

Tendons, Ligaments, and Muscle Injections

  • Tendon sheath or Ligament (e.g., iliolumbar Ligament, trigger finger):CPT 20550
  • Tendon origin/insertion: CPT 20551
  • Trigger point injection (1 or 2 muscles):CPT 20552
  • Trigger point injection (3 or more muscles):CPT 20553
  • Sacroiliac joint (SIJ) without fluoroscopy (billed as a trigger point injection):CPT 20552
  • Fluoroscopic needle guidance (non-spinal):CPT 77002

Nerve Blocks

  • Greater occipital nerve block:CPT 64405
  • Suprascapular nerve:CPT 64418
  • Intercostal nerve (single):CPT 64420
  • Intercostal nerve (multiple):CPT 64421
  • Ilioinguinal and iliohypogastric nerve:CPT 64425
  • Trigeminal nerve (any branch): CPT 64400
  • Sphenopalatine ganglion:CPT 64505
  • Stellate ganglion (cervical sympathetic):CPT 64510
  • Superior hypogastric plexus:CPT 64517
  • Thoracic or lumbar (paravertebral sympathetic):CPT 64520
  • Celiac plexus:CPT 64530
  • Plantar common digital nerve (Morton’s neuroma): CPT 64455
  • Unlisted procedure, nervous system:CPT 64999

Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI)

  • Transforaminal – cervical or thoracic (single level):CPT 64479
  • Transforaminal – cervical or thoracic (each additional level):CPT 64480
  • Transforaminal – lumbar or sacral (single level):CPT 64483
  • Transforaminal – lumbar or sacral (each additional level):CPT 64484
  • Injection(s), anesthetic agent(s) and/or steroid; other peripheral nerve or branch:CPT 64450 – For bilateral procedures, report 64400, 64405, 64408, 64415, 64416, 64417, 64418, 64420, 64425-64455, 64461, 64463, 64479, 64483, 64490, 64493 with modifier 50

Notes: (For injection, anesthetic agent, nerves innervating the sacroiliac joint, use 64451)

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) of Facet Joint

  • RFA – cervical or thoracic (Single joint):CPT 64633
  • RFA – lumbar or sacral (Single joint):CPT 64635

Note: Fluoro can NOT be billed separately for these.

Vertebroplasty / Kyphoplasty

Percutaneous Vertebroplasty and Vertebral Augmentation Procedures:

Neurostimulation (Spinal Cord Stimulator / Dorsal Column Stimulator)

  • Trial Procedure – Percutaneous implant of electrode array:CPT 63650 (includes 10-day global)
  • Implantation of Spinal Cord Stimulator – Percutaneous Leads and Generator:CPT 63685 (includes 10-day global)
  • Implantation of Spinal Cord Stimulator PADDLE Leads and Generator:
    • Laminectomy for implant of neurostimulator electrode, paddle:CPT 63655 (includes 90-day global)
    • Insertion or replacement of pulse generator:CPT 63685 (includes 10-day global)
  • Removal of Leads/Generator (Explant):
    • Removal of spinal neurostimulator percutaneous array(s):CPT 63661 (includes 10-day global)
    • Removal of spinal neurostimulator paddle electrode:CPT 63662 (includes 90-day global)
    • Removal of pulse generator:CPT 63688 (includes 10-day global)

Discogram / Discography

  • Discogram / Discography – Cervical/Thoracic (each disc):CPT 62291
  • Discogram / Discography – Lumbar (each disc):CPT 62290
  • Supervision & interpretation of fluoroscopy – Cervical/Thoracic (total study):CPT 72285
  • Supervision & interpretation of fluoroscopy – Lumbar (total study):CPT 72295

Other Procedures

  • Carpal tunnel injection:CPT 20526
  • Epidural blood patch: CPT 62273
  • Injectables (J-codes):Various J-codes for injectable medications
  • Electromyography (EMG) & Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS):Various codes for EMG and NCS procedures

Note: EMG needles are included in the EMG codes.

CPT Coding Changes for Nerve Conduction Studies

  • Each nerve is counted only once, regardless of the type of nerve conduction study.
  • Codes for the number of studies performed:1-2 NCS = 9590AX, 3-4 NCS = 9590BX, 5-6 NCS = 9590CX, 7-8 NCS = 9590DX, 9-10 NCS = 9590EX, 11-12 NCS = 9590FX, 13+ NCS = 9590GX
  • Lesser occipital nerve block:CPT 64450 – Injection(s), anesthetic agent(s) and/or steroid; other peripheral nerve or branch – For bilateral procedures, report 64400, 64405, 64408, 64415, 64416, 64417, 64418, 64420, 64425-64455, 64461, 64463, 64479, 64483, 64490, 64493 with modifier 50

Notes: (For injection, anesthetic agent, nerves innervating the sacroiliac joint, use 64451) 

Joint Or Medial Branch Block

  • Intraarticular joint or medial branch block – cervical or thoracic (Single level or site): CPT 64490
  • Intraarticular joint or medial branch block – lumbar or sacral (Single level or site):CPT 64493
  • For injection, anesthetic agent, nerves innervating the sacroiliac joint, use 64451
  • Injection, Drainage, or Aspiration Procedures on the Spine and Spinal Cord:CPT 62320

Deleted CPT Codes With Their Alternatives

  • Moderate sedation (first 30 minutes):CPT 99144 (requires the presence of another trained person to monitor the patient’s consciousness and vitals) – Alternative CPT Codes: 99151, 99152, 99153
  • Moderate sedation (each additional 15 minutes):Alternative CPT Code: 99151, 99152, 99153
  • Vertebroplasty – Thoracic (Single level):CPT 22520 – Alternative CPT Code: 22510, 22511, 22512, 22513, 22514, 22515
  • Vertebroplasty – Lumbar (Single level):CPT 22521 – Alternative CPT Code:
  • Percutaneous vertebral augmentation, including cavity creation (fracture reduction and bone biopsy included when performed) using mechanical device, 1 vertebral body, unilateral or bilateral cannulation (eg, kyphoplasty); thoracic (Single level):CPT 22523 – Alternative CPT Codes: 22510, 22511, 22512, 22513, 22514, 22515
  • Kyphoplasty – Lumbar (Single level):CPT 22524 – Alternative CPT Code: 22510, 22511, 22512, 22513, 22514, 22515
  • Injection(s), of diagnostic or therapeutic substance(s) (eg, anesthetic, antispasmodic, opioid, steroid, other solution), not including neurolytic substances, including needle or catheter placement, interlaminar epidural or subarachnoid, lumbar or sacral (caudal); without imaging guidance.:CPT 62311 – Alternative CPT Code: CPT® Code 62322

Pain Management and Interventional Procedure CPT Codes – A Complete Reference Guide 


CPT Code Description

G43.0 – 9

G43.A – E

The specific CPT code for migraine treatment would depend on the procedure or service provided.
Occipital Nerve Block 64405 Injection, anesthetic agent and/or steroid, greater occipital nerve
Therapeutic Injection 96372 Therapeutic, prophylactic, or diagnostic injection (specify substance or drug); subcutaneous or intramuscular.
Back Pain M54.81 This is an ICD-10 code (not a CPT code) for back pain. The specific CPT code would depend on the procedure performed.
Arthrocentesis 20600 – 20611 These codes cover various joint aspiration and injection procedures, including arthrocentesis.
Injection Small Joint 20600 – 20611 These codes can be used for various small joint injections, depending on the joint.
Headache R51 The specific CPT code for headache treatment would depend on the procedure or service provided. This might include an E/M code for an evaluation or an injection code if a therapeutic injection is performed.
Anaesthesia Coding Cheat Sheet Anaesthesia coding is highly specialized and typically requires specific details about the procedure and anaesthesia techniques used.
 Right Knee Pain M17 The specific CPT code for right knee pain would depend on the procedure or service provided.
Knee Pain M21 – 23

The CPT code for knee pain would depend on the procedure or service provided.


Pain Management Office Visit



The specific CPT code for a pain management office visit would depend on the level of service and complexity of the visit. Common E/M codes are used for office visits.
Referral to Specialist   The specific CPT code for a referral to a specialist is not typically coded separately. Referrals are usually documented in the patient’s medical record but may not have a specific CPT code.

Compliance and Regulations in Pain Management Coding

Compliance and regulations are critical aspects of pain management coding that healthcare professionals must adhere to rigorously. These guidelines and rules are in place to ensure that healthcare providers maintain ethical and legal standards while accurately documenting and billing for pain management services. Here’s a closer look at compliance and regulations in pain management coding:

  1. Legal Framework: Pain management coding must adhere to federal and state laws and regulations imposed by insurance companies and healthcare governing bodies. These laws govern areas such as patient privacy (HIPAA), insurance fraud prevention, and the appropriate use of CPT codes.
  2. Ethical Considerations: Healthcare providers must uphold ethical standards in their coding practices. This includes accurately reflecting the services provided, avoiding upcoding or downcoding (billing for a more complex or less complex service than what was performed), and ensuring transparency in billing.
  3. Documentation Accuracy: Compliance relies heavily on the accuracy of medical documentation. Proper documentation should support the CPT codes, ensuring that the patient’s condition and treatment justify the services billed for.
  4. Coding Guidelines: Compliance involves adhering to specific coding guidelines provided by organizations like the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Staying up-to-date with these guidelines is crucial to ensure coding accuracy.
  5. Audit Preparedness: Healthcare providers should be prepared for audits by insurance companies or government agencies. Compliance includes maintaining thorough records, making documentation readily accessible, and being able to justify code selections.
  6. Education and Training: Continuous education and training are essential to ensure that healthcare professionals know the latest coding updates, regulations, and compliance requirements.
  7. Coding Software and Tools: Using reliable coding software and tools incorporating the latest compliance rules can help healthcare providers avoid coding errors and non-compliance issues.

Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to financial penalties, legal repercussions, and damage to a healthcare provider’s reputation. Therefore, a commitment to compliance and staying informed about changing regulations is crucial in pain management coding.

Pain Management Medical Billing and Reimbursement

Medical billing specialists are pivotal in pain management billing and reimbursement. Here’s a breakdown of how medical billing specialists are essential in each step of this process:

1. Medical Coding for Pain Management Procedures

  • Medical billing specialists accurately translate pain management procedures and services into the appropriate Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes.
  • Their expertise ensures that the codes align with the services rendered, meeting the stringent coding requirements.

2. Claim Submission and Verification

  • Medical billing specialists prepare and submit claims to insurance companies on behalf of healthcare providers.
  • They verify patient insurance coverage, ensure services are covered, and obtain prior authorization.

3. Claims Review and Adjudication

  • Specialists oversee the claims review process, responding promptly to insurance company requests for additional documentation.
  • Their attention to detail aids in avoiding claim denials and expedites adjudication.

4. Appeals and Denials Handling

  • When a claim is denied, medical billing specialists are skilled in the appeal process. They gather relevant information and submit appeals to secure rightful reimbursement.

5. Patient Responsibility and Statements

  • Specialists communicate with patients regarding their financial responsibilities, such as co-pays and deductibles.
  • They generate patient statements, break down the billing details, and work closely with patients to address concerns or inquiries.

6. Reimbursement and Follow-Up

  • Medical billing specialists ensure that healthcare providers receive appropriate reimbursements from insurance companies.
  • They facilitate timely payments and assist patients in setting up payment plans if necessary.

Why Choose BillingFreedom as Your Next Billing Partner for Pain Management Medical Billing Services

At BillingFreedom, we’re your trusted partner for top-quality pain management medical billing services. With a specialization in pain management, we bring expertise, precision, and a deep understanding of the industry to maximize your revenue potential by up to 20%. Our dedicated teams, boasting a remarkable 96% first-submission success rate, ensure efficient billing processes. Plus, our certified AR calling professionals work tirelessly to recover outstanding payments, significantly reducing A/R days and denials. When you choose BillingFreedom, you choose a partner dedicated to your practice’s financial success, allowing you to focus on delivering top-notch patient care.

For more details about our exceptional medical billing services, please don’t hesitate to contact us via email at or call us at +1 (855) 415-3472.

Your financial tranquility is our priority!

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