Local Coverage Article Billing and Coding

Billing and Coding: Thermal Capsulorrhaphy


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Contractor Information

Article Information

General Information

Article ID
Article Title
Billing and Coding: Thermal Capsulorrhaphy
Article Type
Billing and Coding
Original Effective Date
Revision Effective Date
Revision Ending Date
Retirement Date
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CMS National Coverage Policy


Article Guidance

Article Text
Thermal capsulorrhaphy, also known as thermal coagulation of joints, radiofrequency thermal shrinkage, electrothermal assisted capsulorrhaphy (ETAC) and laser-assisted capsular shrinkage (LACS) is proposed as a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure to tighten the capsule and ligaments of joints.

Due to the lack of clinical evidence to demonstrate improved health outcomes, Palmetto GBA has determined that this service as a treatment of joint instability, for the shoulder, knee, elbow, etc. is considered not medically necessary. Therefore, claims submitted for this service will be denied.

To report this non-covered service, submit CPT code 29999 (unlisted procedure, arthroscopy).

Coding Information


Group 1

(1 Code)
Group 1 Paragraph


Group 1 Codes

CPT/HCPCS Modifiers


ICD-10-CM Codes that Support Medical Necessity


ICD-10-CM Codes that DO NOT Support Medical Necessity


ICD-10-PCS Codes


Additional ICD-10 Information


Bill Type Codes

Contractors may specify Bill Types to help providers identify those Bill Types typically used to report this service. Absence of a Bill Type does not guarantee that the article does not apply to that Bill Type. Complete absence of all Bill Types indicates that coverage is not influenced by Bill Type and the article should be assumed to apply equally to all claims.


Revenue Codes

Contractors may specify Revenue Codes to help providers identify those Revenue Codes typically used to report this service. In most instances Revenue Codes are purely advisory. Unless specified in the article, services reported under other Revenue Codes are equally subject to this coverage determination. Complete absence of all Revenue Codes indicates that coverage is not influenced by Revenue Code and the article should be assumed to apply equally to all Revenue Codes.


Other Coding Information


Revision History Information

Revision History DateRevision History NumberRevision History Explanation
01/01/2023 R5

Under CPT/HCPCS Codes Group 1: Codes the description was revised for 29999. This revision is due to the 2023 Annual/Q1 CPT/HCPCS Code Update and is retroactive effective for dates of service on or after 1/1/23.

10/03/2019 R4

This article is being revised in order to adhere to CMS requirements per chapter 13, section 13.5.1 of the Program Integrity Manual, to remove all coding from LCDs and incorporate into related Billing and Coding Articles.

02/26/2018 R3 The Jurisdiction "J" Part B Contracts for Alabama (10112), Georgia (10212) and Tennessee (10312) are now being serviced by Palmetto GBA. Effective 02/26/18, these three contract numbers are being added to this article. No coverage, coding or other substantive changes (beyond the addition of the 3 Part B contract numbers) have been completed in this revision.
04/21/2016 R2 Annual Validation
04/21/2016 R1 Under Article Text in the first sentence of the second paragraph revised “including” to read “for”, added “that”, deleted “and” and added “etc.”

Associated Documents

Related Local Coverage Documents
Related National Coverage Documents
Statutory Requirements URLs
Rules and Regulations URLs
CMS Manual Explanations URLs
Other URLs
Public Versions
Updated On Effective Dates Status
01/11/2023 01/01/2023 - N/A Currently in Effect You are here
09/26/2019 10/03/2019 - 12/31/2022 Superseded View
Some older versions have been archived. Please visit the MCD Archive Site to retrieve them.


  • Thermal
  • Capsulorrhaphy