Removal of earring

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I was wondering if I could get a little help.... One of our providers saw a patient who had cellulitis of the ear lobe, so he had to CUT our her earrings with a wire cutter. How do I code this?
 

MnTwins29

True Blue
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East Greenbush, NY
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Not comfortable with this

I am not sure, without seeing documentation, that the earring can be construed as a "foreign body" since it wasn't unwanted, wasn't introduced inside the body from the outside (it is still outside) and isn't in a place that it didn't belong, as it would belong on the ear lobe. Also, does the documentation support that the earring is the cause of the infection? from this information, I would believe the cutting is part of the E/M service and not separately reportable.

Just my $0.02. Thanks.
 
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Milwaukee WI
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E/M visit

This is included in the E/M visit. If the physician had to INCISE the earlobe to remove an earring (or other foreign body), then you could code the FB removal. Cutting the earring post is analogous to cutting a ring off a finger. It's included in the documented E/M service.

Hope that helps.

F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC
 
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