Suture Removal All Sewn Up

If you’re perplexed about coding suture removals, you’re not alone. According to Bill Dacey, CPC, MBA, MHA, there aren’t any specific CPT® codes. “The CPT® manual implies that removal of sutures is not a separately reportable event,” Dacey says in a recent article on the Physicians Practice Web site.

According to Dacey, follow-up visits for sutures are “E&M-like in nature,” and are usually coded using CPT® code 99212 Office or other outpatient visit for the evaluation and management of an established patient, which requires at least two of these three key components: a problem focused history; a problem focused examination; straightforward medical decision making. Counseling and/or coordination of care with other providers or agencies are provided consistent with the nature of the problem(s) and the patient’s and/or family’s needs. Usually, the presenting problem(s) are self limited or minor. Physicians typically spend 10 minutes face-to-face with the patient and/or family.—possibly 99213 office or other outpatient visit for the evaluation and management of an established patient, which requires at least two of these three key components: an expanded problem focused history; an expanded problem focused examination; Medical decision making of low complexity. Counseling and coordination of care with other providers or agencies are provided consistent with the nature of the problem(s) and the patient’s and/or family’s needs. Usually, the presenting problem(s) are of low to moderate severity. Physicians typically spend 15 minutes face-to-face with the patient and/or family. if the patient needs further treatment for the wound to heal properly. Go online to read Dacey’s article, Coding for Suture Removal.

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