Health Information Management

Tip: Note integumentary system code changes

APCs Insider, February 17, 2012

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The integumentary system subsection of the 2012 CPT® Manual includes nine new codes, 26 deleted codes, and six revised codes.

Four new codes (15271–15274) include a primary code and an add-on code for skin substitute grafts applied to a patient's trunk, arms, and legs. Coders should report codes 15271 and 15272 for wounds with a total surface area of fewer than 100 square centimeters. For wounds with a total surface area equal to or greater than 100 square centimeters, report codes 15273 and 15274.

New codes 15275–15278 also represent skin substitute grafts; however, coders should report these codes for areas other than the trunk, arms, and legs. Codes 15275 and 15276 denote wounds with a total surface area of fewer than 100 square centimeters. Codes 15277 and 15278 denote wounds with a total surface area equal to or greater than 100 square centimeters.

The only difference between these code sets is the anatomical sites involved.

Previously, coders would have reported a code for each type of skin substitute. Effective January 1, different types of grafts are included in a smaller code range. The eight new codes replace codes 15170–15176, 15300–15301, 15230–15321, 15330–15331, 15335–15336, 15340–15341, 15360–15361, 15365–15366, 15400–15401, 15420–15421, and 15430–15431.

The old add-on codes represented each additional square centimeter; the replacement codes denote 25 square centimeters.

The AMA also approved a new add-on code (+15777) to report the implantation of biologic implant for soft tissue reinforcement.

The tip is adapted from “Code and guideline changes spread throughout surgery subsections” in the February issue of Briefings on APCs.



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