Fracture care can be confusing. Restorative care (manipulation of bones to restore or improve anatomic position) or definitive care (not temporary but the same care an orthopedist provides) must be provided and documented to assign fracture care. With your scenario, our policy is to code the splint along with an ED visit whenever the patient will be seen by ortho within the next few days. If ortho needs to cast or pin the fracture, definitive care was not provided in the ED.
Per the AAPC ED Practicum, Medicare requires the provider to apply the splint in order to code it. Splints can be off the shelf and do not need to be fiberglass or plaster. It was also noted that most closed fracture care without manipulation coded in the ED involves fingers, toes, clavicle, rib and nose fractures.
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