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Shave vs Biopsy

  1. Default Shave vs Biopsy
    Medical Coding Books
    I have a physician who is obtaining biopsies by shaving the lesions; no suture required.
    He is using the biopsy codes (11100 & 11101).
    Should he use the shave codes 11300-11313 since this is the technique used to obtain the tissue?

  2. Default
    yes if he is shaving them he needs to use the shave bx codes

  3. #3
    Columbia, MO
    He is not obtaining biopsies he is obtaining specimens by shaving the lesions. A biopsy is when only a piece of a lesion is removed for pathology. A shave is a partial thickness removal of the entire lesion. I hope this is helpful for you.

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

  4. Default
    I would agree with using the shave codes.
    Kelly Sumansky, MA, CPC-H, CMC

  5. #5
    There is a great article in the American Acadamy of Dermatology's newsletter for coders regarding how to code biopsies. The newsletter in entitled "Derm Coding Consult" and is available online:


    Basically the article explains that it doesn't matter what technique is used; the focus should be the intent. If the intent is to submit for biopsy to determine the nature of the tissue, the codes will be 11100 and 11101. If the intent is to remove the lesion, then coding by technique is in order even though tissue may be submitted for biopsy.

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