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Removal of earring

  1. Default Removal of earring
    Medical Coding Books
    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
    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. Default
    No incision was made. He just clipped them with a wire cutters.

  4. #4
    Salt Lake City
    maybe 10120 with a 52 modifier
    Jenifer McPolin CPC, CPMA, RCC

  5. #5
    New Windsor, 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.


    Director, Health Information Management
    HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley
    Kingston, NY

  6. #6
    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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