Question Skin vs. Soft Tissue specimen

Lcubed

Contributor
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Hello all,

I am hoping someone can give me their impression of the distinction between when a specimen is a skin specimen (88305) and when it can be coded to a soft tissue specimen. Our pathologists consistently determine "size" as an indicator and while I disagree (and also cannot find anything in my research to their point) I can also see that if the "skin" specimen is deep that it could enter into the soft tissue category.

Thank you in advance,
Laura
 

nkovar

New
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Hi Laura,

Our practice typically goes by what the pathologist ends up referring to the specimen as in the final diagnosis header (skin vs soft tissue) as well as what the diagnosis itself is. If the diagnosis is obviously a skin disorder or associated ICD-10 we always code to skin for the CPT level. Hope that helps a bit!

Natasha
 

danachock

Guru
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Brainerd, MN
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Hi Lcubed,
I apologize for my timeliness but I would like to comment on this please.
I agree with your pathologist, size has been and will always be an indicator with other factors while I am coding these type of pathology scenarios - fortunately many years back I did receive an email from one of my pathologist that was also the medical director at our facility to assist me with the specifics necessary to simply qualify for billing procedure 88307 versus 88305. I was told that "to qualify for 88307, it needs to be a 2 cm deep resection or a soft tissue mass". I still abide by those rules today while coding pathology reports.
Thanks for listening & have a great evening!
Dana Chock, RHIT, CPC, CANPC, CHONC, CPMA, CPB
Pathology Coder & Coding Analyst
 
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