AHA Coding Clinic® for HCPCS - 2013 Issue 2; ASK the EDITOR

Repair of iatrogenic skin tears

Is it correct to assign a code for the repair of an iatrogenic skin tear created during surgery? An open reduction with internal fixation (ORIF) was performed on an open fracture of the distal radius. Due to manipulation during surgery, a wound on the back of the arm increased in size due to the patient’s extremely thin skin. In addition, the patient had a hematoma under the skin in the same location as the wound that was evacuated and debrided. The wound on the back side of the arm was then closed with a nylon stitch. In addition, a skin tear on the dorsal aspect of the hand was also reapproximated. Would the facility report CPT code 12001, Simple repair of superficial wounds of the scalp, neck, axillae, external genitalia, trunk and/or extremities (including hands and feet); 2.5 cm or less, for the closure of the skin tears?  ...

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