Debridement Codes

Debridement Codes

April 11, 2019

Question:
My plastic surgeon debrided an open burn wound that was 45 sq cm then placed a split thickness skin graft over the wound.  Can I report 11042 (debridement skin and subcutaneous tissue, first 20 sq cm) and +11045 (each additional 20 sq cm) for the debridement in addition to the split thickness skin graft code?

Answer:
No.  Remember that the debridement codes, 11042-11047, are reported when you debride an open wound that will stay open to heal by secondary intention.  In your case, the wound is being closed with a split thickness skin graft so the debridement codes are not accurate in this situation.  If the wound is being excised, not just debrided, at the time of split thickness skin graft placement then you could also report a surgical preparation code (e.g., 15002, 15004) in addition to the skin graft code.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 4/11/19.

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