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Thread: Removal of earring

  1. #1

    Default Removal of earring

    AAPC: Back to School
    I was wondering if I could get a little help.... One of our providers saw a patient who had cellulitis of the ear lobe, so he had to CUT our her earrings with a wire cutter. How do I code this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Salt Lake City


    how about 10120 did he have to make an incision in the ear lobe at all?
    Jenifer McPolin CPC, CPMA, RCC

  3. #3


    No incision was made. He just clipped them with a wire cutters.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Salt Lake City


    maybe 10120 with a 52 modifier
    Jenifer McPolin CPC, CPMA, RCC

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Carmel, New York

    Default Not comfortable with this

    I am not sure, without seeing documentation, that the earring can be construed as a "foreign body" since it wasn't unwanted, wasn't introduced inside the body from the outside (it is still outside) and isn't in a place that it didn't belong, as it would belong on the ear lobe. Also, does the documentation support that the earring is the cause of the infection? from this information, I would believe the cutting is part of the E/M service and not separately reportable.

    Just my $0.02. Thanks.


    2016 Secretary
    Ellenville, NY Local Chapter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Milwaukee WI

    Default E/M visit

    This is included in the E/M visit. If the physician had to INCISE the earlobe to remove an earring (or other foreign body), then you could code the FB removal. Cutting the earring post is analogous to cutting a ring off a finger. It's included in the documented E/M service.

    Hope that helps.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC

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