Question: Our physician performed a foreign-body removal (FBR) on a patient with a splinter in the subcutaneous tissues of his left foot. We reported 10120 and received a denial. Should I appeal, or did I code improperly?
Answer: : In this case, there is a more specific code for a foot FBR. Code 10120 (Incision and removal of foreign body, subcutaneous tissues; simple) is in the “Integumentary” part of CPT’s “Surgery” section. It is for simple, subcutaneous incision and removal of foreign bodies when no more specific code exists.
For reporting subcutaneous FBRs from the foot, a more specific code does exist.
When your physician removes a foreign body from a patient’s foot, choose from:
• 28190 — Removal of foreign body, foot; subcutaneous
• 28192 — … deep
• 28193 — … complicated.
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