Suture Removal Is Rarely Reported Separately
Removal of sutures is usually not a separately billable service. An exception may occur if the patient must be placed under general anesthesia to remove the sutures (15850 Removal of sutures under anesthesia (other than local), same surgeon or 15851 Removal of sutures under anesthesia (other than local), other surgeon). There are very few circumstances under which general anesthesia would be medically necessary or appropriate for suture removal, however.
If the same physician who placed the sutures removes them during the original procedure’s global period, you cannot bill the removal separately. At best, you may report 99024 Postoperative follow-up visit, normally included in the surgical package, to indicate that an evaluation and management service was performed during a postoperative period for a reason(s) related to the original procedure. Payers usually assign no value to the code, but reporting it allows you to track the visit.
If a different physician removes the sutures, the removal becomes part of any evaluation and management (E/M) service reported.
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