Thank You Rebecca! I got caught up teaching all day and am just now getting a break, even though that is not the same source I used it is the same essential information, it is a hard concept to outline and I thank you for providing that resource it words it beautifully.Maybe this will clarify.....
Excerpt from 1-09 Coding Answer Book
Suture removal is considered part of the global surgical package and therefore cannot be billed separately by the surgeon.
When the surgeon transfers care of the patient to the attending physician or other physician/non-physician practitioner, suture removal is part of post-op care (-55). No separate charge is made. The performing physician bills Medicare for the entire post-operative care using the surgery date-of-service and the surgery procedure code with modifier -55. The surgeon in this case should submit the service using the surgery procedure code along with the -54 modifier.
When the surgeon has not transferred care of the patient to the patient's attending physician/non-physician practitioner, the suture removal can be included in an evaluation and management service. If this is the only service provided to the patient, then procedure code 99211 can be used; this is the minimal level office visit procedure code. If the patient receives other E/M services at the same time, the suture removal would be included in the evaluation and management service
I really feel that this is not appropriate to code this way for a suture removal.I have been told to use CPT 15851 (removal of sutures under anesthesia, other than local, other surgeon) with a modifier 52 (reduced services) whenever removing sutures that were put in by another doc. Does anyone else code it this way?