tci Outpatient Facility Coding Alert - 2016 Issue 9

Reader Question: Look For Infection While Reporting Wound Dehiscence

Question: What is the best strategy to get reimbursed for repair of wound dehiscence? Georgia Subscriber Answer: “Dehiscence” means splitting open or bursting. As such, wound dehiscence usually describes the opening up of a previously sutured area (for example, an incision following surgery, wound repair, etc.). If a wound becomes infected, it will more likely dehisce due to the natural inflammatory process. Wound dehiscence code 12020 (Treatment of superficial wound dehiscence; simple closure) describes repair when there is no sign of infection. In this case, the dermatologist simply debrides and irrigates the wound and closes it in...

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