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Benign vs. Maligant Lesions

  1. #1
    Default Benign vs. Maligant Lesions
    Medical Coding Books
    Hello everyone,

    I need help with the following case:

    Operative Report state "Excision of Chest Wall Masses subcutaneous x4
    Each lesion measured "less than 1cm in size each."

    Path Report states: Metastatic Adencarinoma

    I coded 11400 x4 based on the op report only. I didn't consider the path report.

    My question is should I have captured 11601 x4 taking into consideration the malignancy on the path report?

    TIA

    geugene

  2. #2
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    Columbia, MO
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    Quote Originally Posted by geugene View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I need help with the following case:

    Operative Report state "Excision of Chest Wall Masses subcutaneous x4
    Each lesion measured "less than 1cm in size each."

    Path Report states: Metastatic Adencarinoma

    I coded 11400 x4 based on the op report only. I didn't consider the path report.

    My question is should I have captured 11601 x4 taking into consideration the malignancy on the path report?

    TIA

    geugene
    If these are skin lesion excisions you are suppose to hold the coding until the pathology is back. You coded benign excisions and the medical record will not support that. So yes you should always wait for the path when an excision of skin lesions is performed, because we cannot assume nor guess at the type of excision.

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

  3. #3
    Default
    tks. I will correct.

  4. #4
    Location
    Kansas City, MO
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    431
    Default
    You call them subcutaneous masses. Did you consider the musculoskeletal section? 2155x area?
    Linda Vargas, CPC, CPCO, CPMA, CPC-I, CEMC,CCC
    PMCC Licensed Instructor
    Kansas City, MO Chapter
    President, 2018
    Vice President, 2017
    Member Development Officer 2016
    Harrisonville, MO Chapter President - 2013
    ICD-10 Education Coordinator- 2012
    Chapter President - 2011
    President Elect - 2010

  5. #5
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    Per the ICD-9 coding Clinic you are not to wait for the path report.
    You are to code what you know at the time of the procedure.

    ICD-9 CODING CLINIC, Vol 20 No 4, 4th Qtr 2003
    "Codes should never be assigned based solely on laboratory values."

    ICD-9 CODING CLINIC, Vol 21 No 1, 1st Qtr 2004 you will find specific reference to using the radiology REPORT and how it can be used:

    "Coders are confused as to why using the PATHOLOGY REPORT for greater coding specificity is different from coding the specific site of a fracture as documented on an x-ray REPORT as published in CODING CLINIC, First Quarter 1999, page 5.
    Answer
    In the example published in CODING CLINIC, First Quarter 1999, page 5, the physician had already documented the femoral fracture. Additional detail regarding the specific site on the femur (i.e., shaft) was being picked up from the x-ray REPORT. There is a difference in coding the documented clinical diagnosis from the attending physician and coding unconfirmed findings. When coding strictly from the PATHOLOGY REPORT, the coder is assigning a diagnosis based on the PATHological findings alone without the attending physician's corroboration.'

    ICD-9 CODING CLINIC, Vol 16 No 1, 1st Qtr 1999
    "Question:
    A patient comes into the hospital with a fracture of the femur. Upon discharge, the physician lists in his final diagnostic statement, fracture of femur. However, when reviewing the medical record, the x-ray REPORT states that the site of fracture is the shaft of the femur. Is it appropriate to use the x-ray results to provide further specificity to this diagnosis for coding purposes?

    Answer:
    Assign code 821.01, Fracture of other and unspecified parts of femur, Shaft. Coders should always review the entire medical record to ensure complete and accurate coding. If the physician does not list the specific site of the fracture, but there is an x-ray REPORT in the medical record that does, it is appropriate for the coder to assign the more specific code without obtaining concurrence from the physician. However, if there is any question as to the appropriate diagnosis, the coder should consult with the physician before assigning a diagnosis code."

    Per ICD-9 guidelines you can use the chart to get information regarding appropriate coding.

    "A joint effort between the healthcare provider and the coder is essential to achieve complete and accurate documentation, code assignment, and REPORTing of diagnoses and procedures. These guidelines have been developed to assist both the healthcare provider and the coder in identifying those diagnoses and procedures that are to be REPORTed. The importance of consistent, complete documentation in the MEDICAL RECORD cannot be overemphasized. Without such documentation accurate coding cannot be achieved. The entire record should be reviewed to determine the specific reason for the encounter and the conditions treated."

    ICD-9 CODING CLINIC Vol 23 No 1, 1st Qtr 2006
    "When coding a diagnosis documented as a MASS of a particular site and that site is not listed under the main term “MASS,” is it appropriate to look under the term “LESION,” and if not found under “LESION” should we refer to the site in the Table of Neoplasms?

    Answer:
    It is incorrect to select a code from the neoplasm table when only the terms “MASS” or “LESION” are used. The coder should follow the cross-references under the main term representing the documented diagnosis. If a final diagnosis is documented as “lump” and there is no index entry for the affected organ or site under “lump” in the index, look up the main term “MASS,” as directed by the “see also” note under the main term “lump.” If there is no index entry for the specific site under “MASS,” look up the main term “disease.” The index directs you to see Disease of specified organ or site for “MASS, specified organ NEC.”

    If a final diagnosis is documented as “LESION” and there is no index entry for the specified organ or site under the main term “LESION,” look up the main term “Disease.” The index directs you to see Disease by site for “LESION, organ or site NEC.”

    ICD-9 CODING CLINIC, Vol 1 No 3, Sep-Oct 1984
    "What information should coders review in the medical record to ensure that all diagnoses affecting the admission are documented? History and physical exam, discharge summary, operative REPORT, PATHOLOGY REPORT, diagnostic test results, medication records, and physician progress notes should be considered."

    ICD-9 CODING CLINIC, Vol 7 No 1, 1st Qtr 1990
    "Question: A patient has come back for a routine check of her mastectomy site, three years status-post her original operation. After a suspicious lump was biopsied, it was found that the cancer had reoccurred. How should this be coded?

    Answer: Code to the level of specificity known for each visit. The first visit would have been coded to V71.1, Observation for the suspected malignant neoplasm, as the physician is following up a patient known to have had cancer previously. A secondary code for that visit would have been V10.3, Personal history of malignant neoplasm, Breast. After the biopsy REPORT has been received and the patient comes back for consultation, code the results of the PATHOLOGY REPORT."

    ICD-9 CODING CLINIC, Vol 17 No 1, 1st Qtr 2000
    "Question:
    A skin lesion of the cheek is surgically removed and submitted to the PATHologist for analysis. The surgeon writes on the PATHOLOGY order, “skin lesion.” The PATHOLOGY REPORT comes back with the diagnosis of “basal cell carcinoma.” A laboratory-billing consultant is recommending that the ordering physician's diagnosis be REPORTed instead of the final diagnosis obtained by the PATHologist. Also, an insurance carrier is also suggesting this case be coded to ”skin lesion” since the surgeon did not know the nature of the lesion at the time the tissue was sent to PATHOLOGY. Which code should the PATHologist use to REPORT his claim?

    Answer:
    The PATHologist is a physician and if a diagnosis is made it can be coded. It is appropriate for the PATHologist to code what is known at the time of code assignment. For example, if the PATHologist has made a diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma, assign code 173.3, Other malignant neoplasm of skin, skin of other and unspecified parts of face. If the PATHologist had not come up with a definitive diagnosis, it would be appropriate to code the reason why the specimen was submitted, in this instance, the skin lesion of the cheek.

    Question:
    A patient undergoes outpatient surgery for removal of a breast mass. The pre- and post-operative diagnosis is REPORTed as “breast mass.” The PATHological diagnosis is fibroadenoma. How should the hospital outpatient coder code this? Previous CODING CLINIC advice has precluded us from assigning codes on the basis of laboratory findings. Does the same advice apply to PATHological REPORTs?

    Answer:
    Previously published advice has warned against coding from laboratory results alone, without physician interpretation. However, the PATHologist is a physician and the PATHOLOGY REPORT serves as the PATHologist's interpretation and a microscopic confirmatory REPORT regarding the morphology of the tissue excised. Therefore, a PATHOLOGY REPORT provides greater specificity. Assign code 217, Benign neoplasm of breast, for the fibroadenoma of the breast. It is appropriate for coders to code based on the physician documentation available at the time of code assignment."

    ICD-9 CODING CLINIC, Vol 19 No 2, 2nd Qtr 2002
    "Question:
    A patient is admitted to the hospital where she undergoes a hysterectomy for possible endometriosis. The PATHOLOGY REPORT revealed adenocarcinoma of the endometrium. The discharge summary was not available at the time of coding. Is it appropriate for the coder to assign a diagnosis code for the adenocarcinoma based on the PATHOLOGY REPORT?

    Answer:
    As previously stated, the advice published in CODING CLINIC, First Quarter 2000, was only intended for coding and REPORTing for outpatient services, where physician documentation is sometimes quite limited. It does not apply to inpatient coding. For inpatient coding, if the attending physician does not confirm the PATHological findings, query the attending physician regarding the clinical significance of the findings and request that appropriate documentation be provided. Refer to the Official Guidelines for Coding and REPORTing, Section lll B, Abnormal Findings, for additional information."

    Regarding CPT codes:
    CPT® Assistant May 1996 Volume 6 Issue 5
    "When the morphology of a lesion is ambigous, choosing the correct CPT procedure code relates to the manner in which the lesion was approached rather than the final pathologic diagnosis, since the CPT code should reflect the knowledge, skill, time, and effort that the physician invested in the excision of the lesion. Therefore, an ambiguous but low suspicion lesion might be excised with minimal surrounding grossly normal skin/soft tissue margins, as for a benign lesion (codes 11400 - 11446), whereas an ambiguous but moderate-to-high suspicion lesion would be excised with moderate to wide surrounding grossly normal skin/soft tissue margins, as for a malignant lesion (codes 11600 - 11646). Thus, the CPT code that best describes the procedure as performed should be chosen. "

    this info was provided by:

    Margie Scalley Vaught, CPC, CPC-H, CCS-P, MCS-P, ACS-EM, ACS-OR
    Healthcare Consultant
    Coding Content Specialist for DecisionHealth

    on another forum
    Mary, CPC, CANPC, COSC

  6. #6
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    Columbia, MO
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    in the above reference if you will note:
    Regarding CPT codes:
    CPT® Assistant May 1996 Volume 6 Issue 5
    "When the morphology of a lesion is ambigous, choosing the correct CPT procedure code relates to the manner in which the lesion was approached rather than the final pathologic diagnosis, since the CPT code should reflect the knowledge, skill, time, and effort that the physician invested in the excision of the lesion. Therefore, an ambiguous but low suspicion lesion might be excised with minimal surrounding grossly normal skin/soft tissue margins, as for a benign lesion (codes 11400 - 11446), whereas an ambiguous but moderate-to-high suspicion lesion would be excised with moderate to wide surrounding grossly normal skin/soft tissue margins, as for a malignant lesion (codes 11600 - 11646). Thus, the CPT code that best describes the procedure as performed should be chosen. "
    the first line states if the MORPHOLOGY is abmibigous.... this means from a path report, the path will give you the morphology. Also the coding clinics referenced state that you may code from the path report as it is a physicians dx.

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

  7. Smile Excission lesion shoulder 1.5 cm and leg 1.5 cm
    Excission lesion shoulder 1.5 cm and leg 1.5 cm. need cpt code for this procedure. pathology report negative for benign & malig.

    pls confirm can we bill 11403 or need to bill it as 11402, 11402 - 51.
    Last edited by rufus72; 09-29-2013 at 11:19 PM. Reason: changes in description

  8. #8
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    you need to know if the path was benign or malignant before choosing the excision code.

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

  9. #9
    Location
    Milwaukee WI
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    Default Chest wall mass subcutaneous
    Original poster indicated "chest wall mass subcutaneous" - This is NOT a skin lesion.

    I would look at 21555 (reported 4 times, once for each lesion removed).

    Hope that helps.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC

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