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confusing lesion closure issue

  1. #1
    Default confusing lesion closure issue
    Medical Coding Books
    has anybody run across this scenario? doctor does sutures subcutaneously then steri-strips the outer layer. can you still considered this an intermediate closure or do you have to resort to a simple repair because of the steri-strips on outer layer???

    thanks!
    barb

  2. #2
    Default This is a tough one!
    Have never run across this one, but it poses some interesting questions:

    1. I don't think a simple closure applies, because this assumes repair is only superficial, and he is placing sutures subq.

    2. I have been looking around, but I can't find a reason why you couldn't bill an intermediate repair. I don't see why using steri-strips to repair the superficial layer rather that sutures negates the fact that both layers of tissue were repaired. Nothing in the code descriptor indicates that sutures must be the method of repair, although it is a little unusual to use steri-strips rather than sutures.

    Just my opinion.
    **********
    PB

  3. #3
    Location
    Milwaukee WI
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    4,466
    Default ON the other hand
    On the other hand ... if he ONLY used steri-strips (without the subq) he would not even be able to bill a simple repair.

    I'd be inclined to code simple repair for this one.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC

  4. #4
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by FTessaBartels View Post
    On the other hand ... if he ONLY used steri-strips (without the subq) he would not even be able to bill a simple repair.

    I'd be inclined to code simple repair for this one.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC

    I'm still stuck on the sutures placed in the subq layer, which is not a simple repair. After reading your post, though, I think you have a point about the steri-strips. Maybe an intermediate repair code with a 53 modifier would be the most correct?

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