Unless you know neck and ear anatomy really well, you could be leaving dollars on the table. If your ENT performs a facial tissue transfer (14040) and you report branchial cleft cyst excision (42810) instead, you’ll lose 10.82 relative value units—which is $368 of lost revenue.
See if your ENT vocabulary is up to par by examining the following operative report.
Code This Excision
Procedure: Excision of left preauricular first branchial cleft sinus tract in a previously operated field.
Pre-/postoperative diagnosis(es): Recurrent left preauricular first branchial cleft sinus tract.
Note: This procedure qualifies for modifier 22 because it is a revision surgery in a previously operated field.
Specimens sent to lab: Overlying skin plus the deep sinus tract.
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