Cardioversion: CPT Code, Procedures and Risks

If you’ve ever experienced a heart arrhythmia, you know how unsettling it can be. The irregular beating of your heart can leave you feeling anxious and worried aout your health. Fortunately, medical advancements have made it possible to correct these irregularities through a procedure called cardioversion. In this article, we will delve into the details of cardioversion and shed light on the CPT code associated with this procedure.

Cardioversion is a medical intervention that aims to restore the normal rhythm of the heart in patients with certain types of arrhythmias. It involves the use of electrical shocks to reset the heart’s rhythm and bring it back to a regular pattern. This procedure can be performed either in an emergency situation or as an elective procedure for patients with persistent arrhythmias.

When it comes to coding cardioversion, the CPT code 92960 is used specifically for elective cardioversion, which involves the external conversion of arrhythmias using electrical shocks. It’s important to note that this code is not applicable for defibrillation, as there is no separate code for it. Defibrillation is incorporated into cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), which has its own CPT code, 92950.

It’s also worth mentioning that cardioversion is not suitable for all patients with arrhythmias. In some cases, cardioversion may not be indicated or feasible due to various reasons. For instance, if a patient has a permanent arrhythmia or if the condition is chronic and unspecified, the code I48.20 should be reported instead.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the CPT code 92960 and its associated reimbursement. This code has a work relative value unit (RVU) of 2.25 and a total RVU of 3.63. For Medicare payments in the facility setting, the reimbursement amount is $123.56. It’s important to note that reimbursement rates may vary across different healthcare providers and insurance plans.

During a cardioversion procedure, the placement of the patches or paddles is crucial to minimize the risk of complications. To reduce the chances of damaging the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), pacemaker, leads, or heart tissue, the patches or paddles are typically placed at least 12 cm away from the device. The standard positioning is usually in a front-to-back orientation.

It’s essential for patients undergoing cardioversion to understand the potential risks and benefits of the procedure. While cardioversion can effectively restore normal heart rhythm, it’s not without risks. The procedure can inadvertently change the settings of the ICD or pacemaker, leading to potential complications. Additionally, there is a small risk of damage to the ICD, pacemaker, leads, or heart tissue.

Cardioversion is a valuable procedure for restoring normal heart rhythm in patients with certain types of arrhythmias. By utilizing the CPT code 92960, healthcare providers can accurately document and code this elective procedure. However, it’s crucial to consider the individual patient’s condition and consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate course of action.

What Is The CPT Code 92960?

Oh, I’m so glad you asked! CPT code 92960 is actually used for a procedure called elective cardioversion. Now, let me break it down for you.

Elective cardioversion is a medical procedure that is performed to restore a normal heart rhythm in patients who have certain types of irregular heartbeats, also known as arrhythmias. It’s kind of like hitting the reset button on the heart!

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the CPT code itself. CPT stands for Current Procedural Terminology, and it’s a set of codes that are used by healthcare professionals to bill for their services. Each code represents a specific medical procedure or service.

In the case of CPT code 92960, it specifically refers to the procedure of elective cardioversion. It’s important to note that this code is specifically for elective cardioversion, not for defibrillation. Defibrillation is actually incorporated into CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), which has its own CPT code (92950).

So, if a healthcare professional performs an elective cardioversion on a patient, they woud use CPT code 92960 to bill for that specific procedure. It helps ensure that the correct procedure is documented and billed for accurately.

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Does Medicare Cover 92960?

Oh, let me tell you about Medicare and its coverage for 92960! So, Medicare does cover 92960, which is the code for cardioversion. Cardioversion is a medical procedure were an electrical shock is used to convert an abnormal heart rhythm back to a normal rhythm. It’s like hitting the reset button for your heart!

Now, when it comes to Medicare, they use something called Relative Value Units (RVUs) to determine the payment for a specific procedure. In the case of 92960, it has a work RVU of 2.25 and a total RVU of 3.63. These RVUs are used to calculate the payment amount for Medicare.

So, for a cardioversion using 92960, Medicare would reimburse the facility setting with a payment of $123.56. Keep in mind that this is the Medicare payment, and actual costs may vary depending on the specific facility and any additional services provided.

Medicare coverage is essential for many individuals, especially those who are eligible due to age or certain disabilities. It helps ensure that necessary medical procedures, like cardioversion, are accessible and affordable for those who need them.

Is Cardioversion The Same As Pacemaker?

Cardioversion is not the same as a pacemaker. They are two different procedures used to treat different heart conditions.

Cardioversion is a procedure used to restore a normal heart rhythm in people with certain types of irregular heartbeats, such as atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. It involves delivering a controlled electric shock to the heart, either externally with patches or internally with catheters, in order to reset the heart’s electrical signals and restore a normal rhythm.

On the other hand, a pacemaker is a small device that is implanted under the skin, usually in the chest, to help regulate the heart’s electrical activity. It uses electrical impulses to control the heart rate and maintain a steady rhythm. Pacemakers are typically used in people with bradycardia (a slow heart rate) or other heart rhythm disorders that cannot be corrected with medication.

So, whle both cardioversion and a pacemaker are used to treat heart rhythm disorders, they are different procedures with different purposes. Cardioversion is a temporary procedure to restore a normal rhythm, while a pacemaker is a long-term solution to regulate the heart’s electrical activity.


The CPT code for elective cardioversion is 92960. It is important to note that this code is specifically for elective cardioversion and not defibrillation. Defibrillation is typically incorporated into CPR and has its own separate CPT code (92950).

Elective cardioversion involves the electrical conversion of arrhythmia, typically using external measures. It is important to follow specific placement guidelines to minimize the risk of damaging any existing pacemakers or ICDs, as well as the heart tissue itself. The patches or paddles used in cardioversion are typically placed at least 12 cm away from the pacemaker or ICD, and are usually positioned in a front-to-back orientation.

It is crucial for the medical record to clearly indicate the condition as permanent if cardioversion is not indicated, cannot be performed, or will not be performed. In cases whee the condition is chronic and unspecified, the appropriate code (I48.20) should be reported.

The CPT code 92960 for elective cardioversion has a work RVU of 2.25 and a total RVU of 3.63, resulting in a Medicare payment of $123.56 in the facility setting.

It is important to consider the risks associated with cardioversion, as it can potentially change the settings of existing ICDs or pacemakers, or cause damage to the leads or heart tissue. Careful consideration and adherence to guidelines can help minimize these risks and ensure the safety and efficacy of the procedure.

Understanding the specific CPT code for cardioversion and the associated guidelines is essential for accurate billing and proper documentation of the procedure.

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William Armstrong

William Armstrong is a senior editor with, where he writes on a wide variety of topics. He has also worked as a radio reporter and holds a degree from Moody College of Communication. William was born in Denton, TX and currently resides in Austin.