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cauterization heel

  1. Default cauterization heel
    Medical Coding Books
    I have a wound care Doc performing cauterization (17250) for heel ulcers. He does both rt and lt heels. How can this be billed? It's not lt and rt. and there is obviously no 50 mod. May be two line items? Pleas help

  2. #2
    Jacksonville Florida Chapter
    If your doctor is performing a chemical cauterization on both heels, then I would think that you should be able to use mod 50 because I don't see where you can't use mod 50. The definition for 17250 doesn't include unilateral or bilateral. If it did, then you're right... you couldn't use mod 50.
    John Meyer, CPC
    Heekin Clinic

  3. #3
    Milwaukee WI
    Default -59 modifier
    The -50 Bilateral modifier does NOT apply because "skin" does not have laterality.

    What you want to use when you have two distinct surgical sites is the -59 modifier.
    So you would code - as an example -
    17250 - 59

    Of course, I'm not sure your basic code is correct because I haven't seen the procedure notes, but you get the idea.

    Hope that helps.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC

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