tci General Surgery Coding Alert - 2006 Issue 10

When Is Foreign Body Removal Not Foreign Body Removal? The Answer You Need Is Here

Location and depth are crucial--but not enough--to guide your code selectionIf the surgeon removes any object not part of the human anatomy, he technically performs a foreign body removal (FBR). Unfortunately, this straightforward logic doesn't carry over into coding principles. To be sure you-re reporting FBR procedures appropriately, you-ll have to answer four questions. 1. Was an Incision Required? If the surgeon can remove the foreign body without making an incision (or using a scope), you won't report an FBR, says Linda Martien, CPC, CPC-H, coding specialist with National Healing in Boca Raton, Fla. In such cases, you-ll likely...

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