CPT 2011 Brings Two New Codes for Diabetic Foot Ulcer Treatment

Published: 25th May 2011
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This year, CPT comes with two new codes to report diabetic foot ulcer treatment involving tissue cultured skin substitutes to the lower extremity - G0440-G0441. You will have to use temporary G codes when reporting diabetic foot ulcer treatment involving tissue cultured skin substitutes to the lower extremity for a Medicare beneficiary in 2011.



CPT introduced G0440 and G0441 to put an end to the confusion providers put forth the different global periods for two tissue cultured skin substitute codes.



This year, for your ultrasound coding, you can bid 76880 good bye as CPT 2011 deletes this code. In its place, you can use two new codes 76881 and 76882. A complete procedure (76881) includes real time scans of a specific joint that covers examination of the muscles, tendons, joint, other soft-tissue structures, and any identifiable aberration. A limited study (76882) involves examining the extremity where a specific anatomic structure such as a tendon or muscle is evaluated. You'd also report 76882 to assess a soft-tissue mass that may be present in an extremity where knowledge of its cystic or solid characteristics is called for.



Bear in mind: When the podiatrist carries out spectral and color Doppler evaluation of the extremities, you should use the proper code (93925-93926, 93930-93931, 93970 or 93971) in association with 76881 or 76882. In the meantime, CPT 2011 revises and revalues codes for non-invasive physiologic studies of the upper or lower extremity arteries: 93922, 93923, and 93924.



This year you'll find 93922-93924's code descriptors clearly differentiating between a limited study and a complete bilateral study, with additional instructions on how to report these codes properly.



Now you will never have to worry about choosing between a debridement code and an active wound code. This year's CPT revises debridement code guidelines to clarify the confusion. Depth is the only documentation item you require to figure out the correct code. Active wound care, which has a 0 day global period, refers to active wound care of the skin, dermis, or epidermis. For deeper wound care, you should go for debridement codes in the appropriate location.



Say for instance codes 11040 and 11041 have been axed. The parenthetical note under the codes' deletion says, for debridement of skin, that is, epidermis and/or dermis only, go for 97597 and 97598."



For further details on this and for other CPT 2011 coding guidelines, sign up for a one-stop medical coding guide like Supercoder.




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