Q&A: 65778/65779 Apply for More Than Just “Wound Healing”

Q&A: 65778/65779 Apply for More Than Just “Wound Healing”

Question: I learned that codes 65788 and 65789 applied only when placing an amniotic membrane for wound healing, but I notice that the code descriptors have changed, in recent years. Does the restriction still apply?

Answer: The CPT® 2014 codebook introduced new descriptors to eliminate the requirement “for would healing:”

  • 65778 Placement of amniotic membrane on the ocular surface; without sutures
  • 65779 Placement of amniotic membrane on the ocular surface; sutured

CPT Assistant (May 2014) clarifies:

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Before CPT 2014, in the Eye and Ocular Adnexa subsection, the descriptors for codes 65778 and 65779 included “for wound healing,” thereby limiting the use of these codes. For CPT 2014 that language was revised to eliminate this restriction. Further, for code 65778 the term “self-retaining” was replaced with the term “without sutures,” to better distinguish that procedure from the sutured.

John Verhovshek

John Verhovshek

John Verhovshek, MA, CPC, is Managing Editor at AAPC. He has covered medical coding and billing, healthcare policy, and the business of medicine since 1999. He is an alumnus of York College of Pennsylvania and Clemson University, and a member of the Asheville-Hendersonville AAPC Local Chapter.
John Verhovshek

About Has 402 Posts

John Verhovshek, MA, CPC, is Managing Editor at AAPC. He has covered medical coding and billing, healthcare policy, and the business of medicine since 1999. He is an alumnus of York College of Pennsylvania and Clemson University, and a member of the Asheville-Hendersonville AAPC Local Chapter.

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