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Winter Laceration Repair: How Do I Code For Dermabond?

Posted on 17. Jan, 2010 by in Coding Challenge, Hot Coding Topics

Warning: Your coding will vary depending on who’s getting the claim

Question: A 60-year-old patient reports to the ED with a bandaged left hand. The patient says she was cleaning out the blades of her snow blower and cut her left index finger; the wound is wrapped in gauze, but it is reddening with blood. During an expanded problem focused history and exam, the physician undresses the wound, applies pressure and ice to stop the bleeding, and cleans it using Betadine. During the E/M service, the physician notes a laceration to the index finger but no signs of infection. Using Dermabond, the physician closes a 2.7 cm laceration on the patient’s finger. How should I code this encounter?

Answer…It depends on the insurer; Medicare has its own rules regarding single-layer laceration repairs in which Dermabond is the only closure material. Here’s a look at how to code for Medicare and...

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