Debridement Coding

Debridement Coding

February 28, 2019

Question:
If 10 sq. cm subcutaneous tissue is debrided from the right leg and 20 sq. cm is debrided from the left leg, is it coded as 11042 and 11042-59 or 11042 RT and 11042 LT?

Answer:
If debridement is performed at the same depth of tissue (all subcutaneous tissue) it is summed to arrive at the appropriate codes, even if in different anatomic areas. So, in your example, the codes would be 11042 and the add-on code 11045 for the 30 sq. cm of debridement. See the codes below.

11042 Debridement, subcutaneous tissue (includes epidermis and dermis, if performed); first 20 sq. cm or less
11045      each additional 20 sq. cm, or part thereof (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)

*This response is based on the best information available as of 2/28/19.

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