Coding Shoulder Melanoma

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August 7, 2014

Question:

My doctor documented the following: Excision of a 1.5 cm melanoma from the shoulder with wide undermining to advance the tissues and a layered closure. Can we use an adjacent tissue transfer code, 14000, for this procedure?

Answer:

No. “Wide undermining to advance tissues” is not an appropriate use of an adjacent tissue transfer code. Use a complex repair code (131xx) instead of the adjacent tissue transfer code; you may also report a CPT code for the skin lesion removal (e.g., 116xx).