Debridement of a Foot Ulcer During the Global Period of a Bypass. Billable or Not?

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June 12, 2014

Question:

I did a right fem-pop bypass on a patient who had a pre-existing ulcer on the right foot. When he came in for his post-op visit, I debrided the ulcer. Is the debridement considered part of the global period and not billable?

Answer:

The patient’s ulcer is not a complication of the bypass that you performed, but rather a result of the patient’s underlying peripheral vascular disease. Therefore, it is unrelated to the surgery that you performed (it was not caused by the surgery) and may be reported during the global period of the bypass with a 79 modifier.