There is debate over when it is appropriate to only bill E/M vs fracture care. I would usually advise providers to report the fracture care unless it was a very simple fracture (such as a finger/toe fracture) where they were just taping it and there was no follow up required. Otherwise, I would have them use fracture care codes- there is always an increased liability/risk for the Physician who is treating a fracture and the RVU's incorporate that into the fracture care codes (this liability/risk is not factored into the E/M codes).
IF you do bill the E/M and the splint is "pre-fabricated" and there is no work except for slipping it on or giving it to the patient for them to put on then I would not bill out the application code but I would report the supply code. If provider or staff is applying a splint made from fiberglass/plaster roll then I would report the appropriate application code along with the Q supply codes.
If you are reporting the fracture care codes then of course the application is incuded but you can still bill for the supply.
If you do report the fracture care codes you would not be wrong - but using your discrection you may feel more comfortable reporting just the E/M. I would query the provider and find out the risk, severity and potential outcomes of the fracture in question to determine which way to go.
Hope this did not confuse you more!
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