tci ED Coding & Reimbursement Alert - 2013 Issue 8

Reader Question: At First Those Earrings Looked Like An Accident, But Eventually They Grow On You

Question: Can I please get other opinions on the correct ICD-9 code for an infected embedded earring in the ear? The earrings are stuck inside in the pinna, with small open wounds that appear infected. The physician does an incision to remove the impacted earring backs. Georgia Subscriber Answer: Your code choice will depend whether it was really an accident or the result of negligent care of the piercing site. From the info presented, it appears that there was no trauma, so coding as an accident seems a stretch. Consider these diagnoses for this claim for infected embedded earring...

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