How to code for shave biopsy?

How to code for shave biopsy?

February 1, 2018

Question:
One of the dermatologists in the office documents that he performs shave biopsies of lesions.  Those should just be coded as biopsies, right?  Not shaves?

Answer:
That is a great question.  By CPT definition, there is no such thing as a shave biopsy.  There are codes for shaving of lesions (11300-11313) and there are codes for biopsies of lesions (11100, 11101), but there are no codes for shave biopsies of lesions.  He needs to document clearly whether it is a shave or biopsy that he is performing.  Show the two separate sections of CPT for these procedures to him.  This is an area for clinical documentation improvement.  Some of the shave removal codes are lower valued (less reimbursement) than a biopsy.  If a payor were to review the record with the confusing verbiage, they may reimburse for the lesser valued procedure.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 02/01/18.

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