tci General Surgery Coding Alert - 2000 Issue 7

Reader Questions: Implant Removal

Implant Removal Question: Our surgeon removed four screws and one plate from the fibula as well as one screw from the tibia all on the left ankle of a Medicare patient. Could you help me with the correct codes and modifiers?Elizabeth MendukePrimary Billing Service, Torrance, Calif. Answer: The code for removal of deep hardware is 20680 (removal of implant; deep [e.g., buried wire, pin, screw, metal band, nail, rod or plate]). Wanda Oplinger, CPC, billing department supervisor at Cardiology Consultants Ltd., a 10-cardiologist practice in Belleville, Ill., says that this code is billed once per incision, not...

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