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Get Ready! Additions to Pressure Ulcer Coding Coming Soon

Surgical dressings can be used for all types of qualifying ulcers.  This includes arterial ulcers, venous ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, and pressure ulcers.  It is important to use the correct diagnosis codes for each of these ulcer types.  Diabetic foot ulcer codes should start with L97-.  Stasis ulcer codes begin with I83-. L89- codes are […]

Dispensing Primary and Secondary Dressings With Different Change Frequencies

When dispensing surgical dressings, it is important to differentiate between primary and secondary dressings and to use them in conjunction when indicated. PRIMARY DRESSINGS Primary dressings are therapeutic or protective and can be applied directly to ulcers. SECONDARY DRESSINGS Secondary dressings are needed to secure and/or aid in the function of a primary dressing. A […]

Face-To-Face Exam

The Face-To-Face Examination Requirement

Among the requirements that must be satisfied when dispensing surgical dressings and compression garments is a face-to-face (FTF) examination.  This FTF exam must take place within six months of the time the order is written for the surgical dressing(s) or compression garment.  It is acceptable if the FTF exam takes place on the same day […]

A- Modifier

Billing For Surgical Dressings: A- Modifiers

One of the most important steps to ensure clean billing of surgical dressings is the appropriate use of the A- modifier.  The A- modifier must be used to indicate two things: Is the dressing billed for a primary or secondary dressing? How many wounds are being treated with the dispensed dressing?  An important differentiation is […]

Dr. Jeffrey D. Lehrman, DPM, FASPS, MAPWCA, CPC

Separately Identifiable E/M Demystified

Does dispensing surgical dressings at the same encounter as an ulcer debridement count as an evaluation and management (E/M)? Short answer: Probably not. Longer answer: It depends. It depends on what was performed, documented, and medically necessary.  You can submit an E/M at the same time as a debridement (or any procedure) if—and only if—an […]