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General Surgery Coding Alert

You Be the Coder:
Don't Miss Sentinel Node Service

Question: When our surgeon performs 19301 or 19303, she wants to additionally bill +38900 for using dye for a sentinel lymph node biopsy. Can we do this, even though CPT® doesn't list 19301 or 19303 as one of the base codes for add-on code +38900?Minnesota SubscriberAnswer: If your surgeon documents injecting dye to identify the first-draining node(s) in the lymph node basin, then removing a sentinel lymph node based on the findings, you can report that work in addition to a mastectomy.The base code for the sentinel lymph node biopsy is one of the following, depending on the approach and the node(s) location:38500 -- Biopsy or excision of lymph node(s); open, superficial38505 -- ... by needle, superficial (e.g., cervical, inguinal, axillary)38525 -- ... open, deep axillary node(s)38530 --... open, internal mammary node(s).You can list +38900 (Intraoperative identification [e.g., mapping] of sentinel lymph node(s) includes injection of non-radioactive dye, when performed [List separately in [...]


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