Wednesday, June 27, 2012

CPT 17110: Destruction of Molluscum Contagiosum or Plantar Warts and Plasma Ablation

CPT 17110

Code for Destruction of Molluscum Contagiosum or Plantar Warts

Question: What code is used to bill for destruction of molluscum contagiosum or plantar warts?

You can use CPT codes 17110 and 17111 for destruction of common or plantar warts. The codes 17110 and 17111 have been revised to co destruction of benign lesions other than skin tags or cutaneous vascular lesions. Coders are no longer supposed to use CPT codes 17000 and 17003 for destruction of warts or molluscum contagiosum, as these codes now do not include destruction of benign lesions.

In case the physician destroys one to fourteen warts (or molluscum), then you code CPT 17110. Keep in mind that you should only code 17100 once, even if the physician has destroyed fourteen lesions.

In case the physician destroys fifteen or more warts (or molluscum), then you should code17111. Even in case the physician destroys thirty-five warts, it is suitable to only use the code 17111 a single time.

Formal definitions of the codes are as follows:

  • CPT 17110 – (Destruction (e.g., laser surgery, electrosurgery, cryosurgery, chemosurgery, surgical curettement), of benign lesions other than skin tags or cutaneous vascular lesions; up to 14 lesions)
  • CPT 17111 – (15 or more lesions)

CPT 17110 Definition Includes Plasma Ablation, Too

Question: Your gastroenterologist treats a patient who has a gastrostomy tube. The op note specifies that the patient has "some issues with granulation tissue at the stomal site that gets irritated and bleeds." The physician carried out"argon plasma photoablation of granulation tissue at stomal site." Can you use CPT 17110 even though its descriptor says nothing about plasma ablation?

Answer: Certainly. You should use 17110 (Destruction [e.g., laser surgery, electrosurgery, cryosurgery, chemosurgery, surgical curettement], of benign lesions other than skin tags or cutaneous vascular proliferative lesions; up to 14 lesions) for the procedure. Link that to a diagnosis of 701.5 (Other abnormal granulation tissue).

Even though CPT 17110 doesn't specifically mention plasma ablation, the wording doesn't discard it completely, either. Gastroenterologists generally use argon plasma coagulation -- jet of ionized gas -- to treat bleeding inside the body.