tci Outpatient Facility Coding Alert - 2015 Issue 10

Reader Question: Avoid 15851 and 15852 for Anesthesia-Free Procedures

Question: Our dermatologist recently performed suture removal in the office for an established patient who had undergone repair of a superficial wound to the scalp while on vacation. The patient returned home and presented to our provider for suture removal. Should I report 15851 for the suture removal? And should I use modifier 52, as no anesthesia was used for the procedure? California Subscriber Answer: Although the CPT® code 15851 (Removal of sutures under anesthesia [other than local], other surgeon) seems to be an ideal choice for the case scenario, you cannot report 15851 if your dermatologist performed...

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