Dr. Rubenstein on changes to reporting removal of sutures and staples

Video

“These are add-on codes that need to be added on to the evaluation and management service that's done on that patient on that day,” says Jonathan Rubenstein, MD.

In this video, Jonathan Rubenstein, MD, discusses recent changes to reporting removal of sutures and staples. Rubenstein is compliance officer and medical director of coding and reimbursement, United Urology Group and Chesapeake Urology, in Towson, Maryland.

Transcript:

Another change that is important is removal of sutures and staples. If done outside of a global period, such as in the office at the time of an [evaluation and management] code, removing sutures or staples can be reported. The reason that these codes are important is that there is a practice expense for the staple removal or suture removing kit that would otherwise not be captured. So although the codes themselves really reimburse pretty much the cost of the kit, it's still important to report it for one's own practice expense. The suture and staple removal codes are add-on codes. One is CPT code 15853, which is for suture or staple removal, not requiring anesthesia, or 15854 which is suture and staple removal, if you have to do both of those. Now, these are add-on codes that need to be added on to the evaluation and management service that's done on that patient on that day. Remember, they should only be reported if performed outside of a global period.

This transcript was edited for clarity.

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