AHA Coding Clinic® for HCPCS - 2017 Issue 2; Ask the Editor

Complicated incision and drainage

A patient underwent an incision and drainage procedure at our facility. According to the operative report, an incision was made over the lesion and purulent material was expressed. Loculations were broken up using forceps and more of the material was expressed. The drainage cavity was then irrigated, packed and dressed with sterile gauze.  Would it be appropriate to code an incision and drainage (I&D) as complicated based on documentation that a drain or packing was used? There are many articles available that provide varying opinions and we would appreciate an official response. Should the term complicated be documented or may the coder use the drain or packing as an indicator of a complicated procedure? ...

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