tci General Surgery Coding Alert - 2007 Issue 4

YOU BE THE CODER: What Separates Superficial From Deep?

Question: How should I determine when to use 20200 (superficial muscle biopsy) rather than 20205 (deep muscle biopsy)? Several of our surgeons perform muscle biopsy, usually of the deltoid or quadriceps muscle, which are identified as superficial anterior muscles. Does this mean we must use the superficial code? Or is the biopsy's depth, as opposed to the muscle's location, the determining factor? Illinois SubscriberAnswer: In this case, -superficial- vs. -deep- is a product of distance from the surface (for instance, skin is superficial, bone is deep), rather than a description of the muscle (in other words, just because the...

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