Ob-Gyn Coding Alert

CPT® 2023:

Beyond Those Massive E/M Changes, Note These Mesh, Suture Additions

Your suture codes will specify anesthesia.

You learned about the massive 2023 E/M changes in “Dive Into These New Office/Outpatient Consultation CPT® Guidelines” in Ob-gyn Coding Alert, volume 25, number 9; but you also have two ob-gyn related additions you should note. These go into effect January 1, 2023.

First, you will have a new mesh code, which will be 15778 (Implantation of absorbable mesh or other prosthesis for delayed closure of defect(s) (ie, external genitalia, perineum, abdominal wall) due to soft tissue infection or trauma).

Second, you have suture changes to note. You will delete 15850 (Removal of sutures under anesthesia (other than local), same surgeon) and revise 15851 to state “Removal of sutures or staples requiring anesthesia (ie, general anesthesia, moderate sedation).” Then, you will add two new suture codes:

  • +15853 (Removal of sutures or staples not requiring anesthesia (List separately in addition to E/M code))
  • +15854 (Removal of sutures and staples not requiring anesthesia (List separately in addition to E/M code))

These new codes should be payable when the physician who removes sutures and/or staples after surgery is not the one who performed the surgery or is not a member of the practice of the physician who did, says Melanie Witt, RN, MA, an independent coding expert based in Guadalupita, N.M. In some cases, the surgical code reported when the sutures/staples were put in place may have a 0-day global period, and this new code will allow the removal of the sutures at a later date. If the physician removes sutures or staples within the global period of the original procedure by the provider who performed that procedure, the removal is included.

Remember These Symbols for Code Keys

If a code is new, revised, or resequenced in CPT® 2023, it will be accompanied by a symbol to the left of the code to indicate that fact. Here’s a breakdown of the symbols you’ll need to know to decipher coding changes in the CPT® book:

▲: The blue triangle symbol indicates a revised code.

●: The red circle symbol indicates a new code.

#: The hashtag indicates a resequenced code.

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