Medical Coding Lesion Removal

A Medical Coding Student Asks: “When coding 17000, 003 and 004, do you put the number of lesions removed units or do you just list each lesion separately with the 59 modifier? I’ve seen it both ways. I’m thinking of using the units and not the modifier.”

Okay, let me turn there…

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Okay so here, we see where the bubbling and highlighting TM helps. And what I’ve highlighted after the semi-colon is first lesion. And then the idented code is the 2nd through 14. Okay and because it uses the word “each”,

If you have… let’s just say, for example, 12 lesions total. 17000 will be what you’ll use for the first lesion. And then 17003, you’ll report times 11 to come up with the individual ones. So that’s how I would do it. I’d put a 11 in that column. Now, as far as the 59 goes, that would be a pair preference, I guess, because you’re going to have them listed as units. So if you just had two and you have one unit of 17000 and one unit of 17003, I don’t think 59 would really apply because it’s an addon code. So you know, unless the payer specifically told you to do it a different way, I don’t think it’s necessary you know, to do that. But that’s… you know, I’m in the coding world, not the billing world so your mileage might vary there. You know, if anyone has any other opinions, feel free to put it in the chat box. On the board exam, I doubt you’d use a 59 in that case.

Oh, and you asked about the 004. That is when once you hit 15 or more then you use 17004, okay? So if you have… and you’ll only report 1 unit of it. So if you have 20, you’re going to only report one unit of 17004, okay?

And is modifier 51 exempt?

Yes, the 17004 and that’s because of the No Smoking symbol is what I call it. Ok that short Medical Coding Lesion Removal question is done.

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