Adjacent Tissue Transfer

Adjacent Tissue Transfer

June 24, 2021

Question:
A few years ago I was at your plastic surgery coding workshop in Chicago – you were great, Kim! I remember discussing the adjacent tissue transfer or rearrangement codes and you said we need a size dimension to code for CPT 14040 or 14041 or any of the ATT codes. Do you have a specific guideline or a resource that I can find to support this? As always thank you so much for your guidance.

Answer:
Thank you for your kind words! Sure – just look in the CPT book in the Guidelines for the Adjacent Tissue Transfer or Rearrangement codes. The last paragraph defines the terms primary and secondary defects. The CPT codes themselves are defined by square centimeters – this is the total sq cm of each defect (primary and secondary). When you use a CPT code that has a dimension in the description, such as sq cm or linear cm, then that dimension must be documented to support the billed code. It is very important for you to document the primary defect dimension and secondary defect dimensions separately. These two dimensions are added together to “equal” the CPT code.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 06/24/21.

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