Health Information Management

Assign 12001 for simple wound repair with chemical cautery

APCs Insider, November 18, 2005

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Assign 12001 for simple wound repair with chemical cautery

QUESTION: A patient who currently takes Coumadin presents to the ED with a 1 cm. laceration/avulsion on the tip of his finger. A physician uses chemical cautery to stop the bleeding. The CPT Manual states that a simple laceration repair includes repair with chemical or electrocautery.

Page 29 of the 2005 Coding Companion for Emergency Medicine states, "Coding tips-Wounds treated with cleansing, irrigation, and control of bleeding qualify as a simple repair even if they are not closed with sutures." Given these references, can I code 12001, or would the E/M code include the procedure?

ANSWER: Assign 12001 for the simple wound repair when a physician performs the chemical cautery for the scenario described above.

The CPT subsection notes under "simple repair" specifically state that a physician uses a simple repair when the wound is superficial and involves primarily the epidermis, dermis, or subcutaneous tissue without further significant involvement of deeper structures. This includes local anesthesia and chemical or electrocauterization of wounds not closed.



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