Is it appropriate to bill evaluation and management (E/M) codes or a clinic visit code on the same day as other wound care services such as debridement?
It depends. Providers need to be cautious however, because as explained in a recent article from First Coast, the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for Jurisdiction N, data reflects improper billing of wound care and E/M codes on the same date of service. Providers may report an E/M service with modifier “25” when a significant, separately identifiable E/M service by the same physician on the day of a procedure is performed. If that separate E/M service involves the use of facility resources, a separate clinic visit code may be reported by the facility also.
A separate and distinct E/M service could involve the management of the patient’s underlying medical conditions in addition to the management of wound care. Reporting the E/M code with modifier “25” attests that the patient’s condition required a significant, separately identifiable E/M service above and beyond the usual preoperative and postoperative care associated with the procedure or service that was performed. If the sole purpose of the visit is wound care management, only the wound care codes should be reported. This includes measurements and assessment of the wound(s) as well as debridement, dressings, or other wound treatments performed.
The First Coast article includes excerpts from their Wound Care LCD. The key to supporting a separate E/M code with wound care services is documentation. The documentation should clearly indicate the other conditions that were addressed and managed during the wound care visit.
Article by Debbie Rubio
This material was compiled to share information. MMP, Inc. is not offering legal advice. Every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure the information is accurate and useful.