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CPT Code

Coding

Baffled With Bilateral Biopsy

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“I have a simple question for which I have not been able to find the correct answer. I have a Medicare patient whom we took to the operating room to remove 3 skin lesions. Two were removed from the left foot and one was removed from the right foot. We used code CPT 11421 and are planning on billing the following way: CPT 11421 – 50 (2 units, one lesion on the LT and one the RT) CPT 11421 – LT (the other lesion on the LT) I checked CCI edits and it says I do not need to use a 59 modifier but I feel like I should. Some people have said to use XS modifier. Some have said to bill one code 3 units and others to bill 11421 3 times. What’s the correct answer?”
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Coding

Injections Under Fluoro

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“My partner prefers to inject the subtalar joint under fluoroscopy. What would be the best procedure code to bill for an injection of the subtalar joint and does the use of fluoroscopy change things?”
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Coding

Challenges with the Q7 Modifier

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“We are inquiring about the use of the Q7 modifier when billing nail and callus debridement with Medicare. We are aware of the changes to the LCD with diagnosis codes. When billing nail debridement CPT 11721 and callus debridement CPT 11056, we are submitting diagnosis codes Z89.412 and Z89.422, (acquired absence of toe) with a Q7 modifier to show “non-traumatic amputation of a foot or an integral skeletal part of the foot.” Now we are being told by Medicare that per the LCD, we cannot bill those diagnosis codes even with a Q7 modifier. Should we be billing with a different modifier?”
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Coding

Preventative Care Coding

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“I recently saw a new patient with Oxford insurance for a tinea problem. A prescription was given and options for additional treatments were discussed. We billed his insurance for an initial office visit. The visit was allowed by insurance and the payment was applied to his deductible. He was billed by us. He checked with Oxford and is now telling us that “preventive” care is not subject to the deductible and would like me to resubmit to Oxford telling them that the visit was for “preventive” care. My opinion is that “preventive” care does not really apply to a specialist and that I could not undo what I already submitted. Can we bill for “preventive” care and, if so, is it possible to resubmit the claim?”
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Coding

Wound Care Coding for Hospice Patients

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“I often provide wound care for hospice patients and append the GW modifier. However, I recently read that it would be hard to defend this as the wound(s) and wound process is likely related to the patient being deconditioned and malnourished due to their hospice qualifying condition. I am looking for clarification regarding this, should I stop performing wound care services to hospice patients?”
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Coding

Wound Care Coding

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“Here’s the scenario: patient has a chronic ulcer left foot that comes in for regular debridements/wound care. Two weeks ago he has a full thickness ulcer and osteomyelitis at the 2nd toe right foot and I performed a partial amputation of the toe in the office. He comes in for postop check five days later and everything is fine. At his 2nd postoperative visit, I notice a new punctate ulcer plantar 2nd toe with exposed bone and progressing osteomyelitis. I did a prep and debrided the bone at this visit (Yes, authorization was submitted for a more proximal amputation at a future appointment.) I also debrided the wound on his left foot. The question I have is with a multiple modifier order/rule for the debridedment of the ulcer left foot. I billed the visit out as follows: CPT 11044-78,T6 CPT 11042-59,79,LT Should the order of the modifiers with the CPT 11042 be -59,79 or -79,59 (or does this matter?) I have seen coding recommendations that say that the 1st modifier should be the “pricing” modifier and the 2nd modifier should be the “procedure” modifier but I am not sure of this.”
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Coding

CPT 11730 Denials

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“We have billed CPT 11730 for all 10 nails using the appropriate toe modifiers. Anthem Blue Cross paid for five of the toes but is denying the other five. The denial comes back with CO-222 (Exceeds the contracted maximum number of hours/days/units by this provider for this period. This is not patient specific.) Please advise.”
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Coding

Surgical Coding

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“I am excising a wound on top of the foot (not on the bottom) and opening up to expose a Brodie abscess of the cuboid. Following this, I will be curetting the abscess from the bone to promote bleeding of the bone and filling it with an allograft bone putty impregnated with antibiotics. I am considering using these following CPT codes 28107 and CPT 15999. Is CPT 15999 correct to use for a wound on top of the foot? "
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Coding

Global for Tenotomy Surgery

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“Can someone please clarify the postoperative global period for a percutaneous flexor tenotomy for flexible hammertoes? I thought the postop global for CPT 28010 was ten days. I discovered that it is 90 days! Is it really the same as a bunion correction? I performed an in office flexor tenotomy successfully on one foot and now the patient requests correction for the other foot. I understand how a longer global period would discourage so called “serial surgeries” for higher reimbursements for multiple procedures on one foot. But on the opposite foot as well?”
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Coding

Deconstructed Lapidus Bunionectomy

by Dr. Michael Warshaw, DPM, CPC

“A friend of mine is encouraging me to change how I bill for my Lapidus bunionectomy. I typically bill this using CPT code 28297. I am being told that I should think about billing this “alternatively” as: 1) CPT 28740 2) CPT 28292 Thoughts on this?”
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