Emergency Department Coding & Reimbursement Alert

Reader Question: External Vs. Internal Abscess Will Determine I&D Code Choice


- Published on Tue, Sep 20, 2011

Question: Can anyone tell me the correct CPT® code for an I & D of a knee abscess? I am confused on whether it should be 10060, 10061 or 20600-20610. How do I determine which set of codes to use?

Indiana Subscriber

Answer: You would report codes 10060 (Incision and drainage of abscess [e.g., carbuncle, suppurative hidradenitis, cutaneous or subcutaneous abscess, cyst, furuncle, or paronychia]; simple or single) or 10061 (Incision and drainage of abscess [e.g., carbuncle, suppurative hidradenitis, cutaneous or subcutaneous abscess, cyst, furuncle, or paronychia]; complicated or multiple) if the abscess is located on the external surface of the knee.

In contrast, codes 20600-20610 describe arthrocentesis, aspiration and /or injection of a joint or bursa, such as injecting or removing fluid from within the joint space of the knee. If that is the scenario in your chart, report 20610 (Arthrocentesis, aspiration and/or injection; major joint or bursa (e.g. shoulder, [...]

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