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Post op visits vs. chargable visits

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Do we code surgeries based on the path report, or the "mass" that prompted the surgery?

E.G. A patient has surgery to remove a thyroid mass. If it turns out to be benign, the postop visit(s) are very simple and straightforward taking minimal time. No problem.
However, if it turns out to be malignant, the postop visit(s) are not 5 min., but are often lengthy with new discussion, new treatment plan, and new referrals to other specialists.

My surgeon learned that these are chargable visits due to the NEW dx of cancer, but in order for them to be considered "unrelated" with a 24-mod, the surgery dx must be coded as a "mass", and not cancer (based on the path report).

Any input on this?

Thanks. Connie
 
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