Burn Debridement Through SubQ

squeaker7

Contributor
Messages
13
Best answers
0
Can someone please help me with this! This has come up a few times now and we are not sure what to code, we've received conflicting answers from our resources. Documentation reads:

First and second degree burns left upper extremity, especially his hand and forearm. Areas were excisionally debrided, dressing applied with Aquacel Silver. Culture was obtained by swab. Wound debrided with scalpel, down through Subcutaneous tissue; tissue removed includes slough, abnormal edge, fibrin, exudate, biofilm and subcutaneous tissue. There was minimal bleeding, controlled by pressure. Total area debrided was 70sqcm.

Our issue is when reading the description for the debridement codes for burns, 16000-16030, they only mention debridement of patial-thickness wounds. What if it does go down to subcutaneous?

We've had one person tell us to stick with the burn codes, 16020, and we've had another say that when it hits subQ to use 11042.

Please help!! :confused:
 

natraj21

Contributor
Messages
24
Location
E/M
Best answers
0
Degrees of burn is classified according to depth of skin involved. So we should not use the normal debridement(11042) code when we have specific codes for burn debridements.
 
Last edited:

squeaker7

Contributor
Messages
13
Best answers
0
Even though the debridement codes for burns don't go by the degree of burn? It only specifies the percent of surface area burned. That's what is confusing my colleagues and I. The burn I'm coding is less than 5% of total body area which would make it 16020.

Thanks for your help!!
 
Messages
1
Location
Birmingham, AL
Best answers
0
debridement of a burn

Same question came up today for me. I can't find an "official" guidance for this - but in the Coder's Desk Reference, CPT code 11042 is described as "excluding burn wounds". So, at least in their interpretation, CPT code 16020 appears to be the more appropriate code.
 

donburn

Guest
Messages
2
Best answers
0
16020 vs 11042

I'm not clear on which code to use for a non-healing full thickness burn debridement on the foot. This patient is being treated as active wound care. In the CPT book it states above 11042 (for debridement of burn wounds, see 16020-16030). These codes state for local treatment of burned surface. What code would be billing for a fullthickness burn on the foot when the subcutaneous tissue is removed???
Thank you
 
Top