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Thread: Dog bite left several wounds!

  1. #1

    Default Dog bite left several wounds!

    AAPC: Back to School
    from the notes:
    "Devialized fat tussue extruding from the wounds in the arm were removed with electrocautery. Six wounds were treated in this fashion. Following this, all wounds were closed with vertical 4-0 silk interrupted mattress sutures. The wounds were covered individually with Bacitracin and dressed in a sterile fashion."
    My dilema is that I would like to code 11042 for the wound debridement but would I use times(x) 5 units)........? and the closure was with sutures.....would that be code as a simple wound closure ....?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Milwaukee WI

    Default Wound repair INCLUDES debridement

    You would not code for the debridement at all. Wound repair includes debridement.

    I only see single closure here - no mention of layers. So you'd be looking at 12001-07.

    CPT does allow you to bill intermediate closure when you have "Single-layer closure of heavily contaminated wounds that have required extensive cleaning or removal of particulate matter." (emphasis added by FTB) I'm not sure I'd call this description as "extensive cleaning" but if you can truly defend that position, you'd be looking at CPT 12031-37 (NOTE: the op report just says "arm," but for intermediate closure, hands are counted separately, so if any of the wounds are on the hand, that should be noted.)

    However, I don't see any mention of the length of each wound. You need this in order to arrive at the correct repair code. (You add all the lengths together for like repair and same anatomic site.)

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CPC-E/M

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