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Thread: cauterization heel

  1. #1

    Default cauterization heel

    AAPC: Back to School
    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    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-A
    Heekin Orthopedic Specialists

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    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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