Local Coverage Article

Dropless Cataract Surgery


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Article ID
Article Title
Dropless Cataract Surgery
Article Type
Original Effective Date
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Article Guidance

Article Text
Noridian Healthcare Solutions has become aware of a relatively new technique where a retrozonular or intravitreal injection of compounded antibiotics and or steroids are administered at the conclusion of cataract surgery (CPT 66984 or 66982 or related codes) as a means of reducing or eliminating the need for post-operative topical medications ("dropless" cataract surgery).

Noridian states that such injections are integral to the surgery being performed and are bundled with the cataract surgery code for both the physician and facility. Therefore, billing either Medicare or the patient for these services separately is not appropriate. Furthermore, because they are considered integral to and bundled with these codes, it is inappropriate to include such services when performed as a separately itemized part of a "package" related to the insertion of a premium intraocular lens.

There may be rare cases where services represented by intravitreal injection code (67028) and a drug code (J-series) need to be provided in the contralateral eye. In such cases the surgical code and the injection and drug codes should be appended with either a RT or a LT to reflect which eye the cataract surgery was performed on and which eye received the injection. Do not use modifier -59 in such cases as the claim will deny.

Coding Information



ICD-10-CM Codes that Support Medical Necessity


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


Additional ICD-10 Information


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Revenue Codes

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Revision History Information

Revision History DateRevision History NumberRevision History Explanation
10/01/2015 R2

Article converted to Billing and Coding, no other changes were made

10/01/2015 R1

This article effective 10/1/2015 combines JFA A53917 into the JFB A53918 Article so that both JFA and JFB contract numbers will have the same final Medicare Coverage Database (MCD) Article number of A53918.

Associated Documents

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Public Versions
Updated On Effective Dates Status
09/29/2020 10/01/2015 - N/A Currently in Effect You are here
03/12/2018 10/01/2015 - N/A Superseded View
12/28/2014 10/01/2015 - N/A Superseded View