I know there are many scenarios where we are unable to find the correct CPT code. Especially when we are coding surgery procedure codes, mostly the minor procedures will be included in the main surgery CPT code. Same happen while using modifier like 24, 25 ,27 etc. which one to use with E/M CPT code. Many of us won’t be much perfect in surgery coding. Hence today we will try to learn about coding suture removal CPT code, which has created lot of confusion among coders. So, today we will try to find out the correct suture removal CPT code and when it should be used in coding. Also, we will try to find the staple or suture removal CPT code used during and after global period. So, let us know everything about the procedure code for suture removal.
What is Suture Removal CPT code?
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) consider suture removal to be part of a minor surgical procedure’s global package. For example, if a physician removes sutures during the original procedure’s global period, then we are not supposed to code suture removal CPT code. In such cases we have to report E/M visit code, which we will learn later in this article. But, if the physician removes the suture after the global package or period of original procedure, then we have to report a separate CPT code for suture removal. Global period may be of 10 or 90 days depending on the original procedure. So, we have to calculate the global days which covers the suture removal CPT code and code accordingly.
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CPT code for Suture Removal under anesthesia
Yes, we have separate CPT code for suture or stitches removal under anesthesia. Yes, these are codes which are exclusively meant to code for suture removal. CPT code 15850 and 15851, needs to be reported for coding suture removal under anesthesia. Below, is the description for these procedure codes.
15850 -Removal of sutures under anesthesia (other than local), same surgeon
15851- Removal of sutures under anesthesia (other than local), other surgeon
But, the scenarios where an anesthesia is required to remove sutures will be very rare. Hence, do read the document correctly before applying the above two CPT codes for suture removal.
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Also, we have separate suture removal CPT code S0630, which can also be used if your payer accepts this code. Code S0630 says “Removal of sutures by a physician other than the physician who originally closed the wound” as long as a different physician than the one who placed the sutures removes them. Hence, do check with your payer, if they are ready to accept this code, then use them wisely.
When to use E/M CPT for Suture removal
CPT code for suture removal during global period is included with the main procedure code. If Only the visit is for suture removal during global period, we can use the E/M visit code along with original procedure. But, with no global package or period, we have to report separately for suture removal procedures. In such cases also, we have to report the E/M visit code. The most frequent E/M visit codes used for suture removal is from 99211-99215. The CPT code 99211 should only be used by medical assistant or nurse when performing services such as wound checks, dressing changes or suture removal. CPT code 99211 should never be billed for physician services.
For new patient, you can use CPT codes 99201 -99203 as E/M visit for suture removal.
ICD 9 and ICD 10 code for Suture removal
There are very few and specific codes for suture removal in ICD 9 and ICD 10. Unlike, CPT code you will not have any confusion for selecting the ICD codes for suture removal. Below are the ICD 10 and ICD 9 codes for suture removal.
Z48.02 – Encounter for removal of sutures
V58.32 – ENCOUNTER FOR REMOVAL OF SUTURES.
V58.3 – Attention to dressings and sutures
Modifiers used with Suture removal Procedure code
As we are now clear about coding suture removal CPT code during and after the global period, we will now check the use of modifiers. Since, we will report the E/M visit code for suture removal, we have to append either 24 or 25 modifier to the E/M visit code. If we are billing the E/M visit code on same day, we have to report 25 modifier along with the original procedure code during the postoperative or global period. But, if there is a postoperative complication that require a visit, then the suture removal CPT code or E/M visit code needs to be appended with the 24 modifier.
Hope, now all the medical coders have got great information about suture removal CPT code. Do share your thoughts in the comment section.