AHA Coding Clinic® for HCPCS - 2017 Issue 1; Ask the Editor

Axilla soft tissue excision

Some confusion exists among coders when assigning a CPT code for the excision of soft tissue of the axilla. Especially in the instance where there are no lymph nodes involved in the excision. Unfortunately, there appears to be no specific CPT codes for soft tissue excision of the musculoskeletal system in the CPT codebook that describe the axilla region. We have encountered situations where one encoder directs the coding professional to the neck/thorax CPT codes 21555-21558 while another encoder directs the coding professional to the upper arm CPT codes 24075-24079. Other coding resources have referred to soft tissue of the shoulder CPT codes 23071-23076. Can you provide some guidance as to the correct code assignment for soft tissue excision of the axilla? ...

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