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Ob-Gyn Coding Alert

Reader Question:

Use 15839 for Excess Skin Excision

Question: The doctor performed a partial excision of the left labia minora for hypertrophy. How should I report this?

Kentucky Subscriber Answer: Although you may be tempted to use 56620 (Vulvectomy, simple; partial), this may not be your best choice. The payer may not accept 624.3 (Hypertrophy of labia) as an acceptable diagnosis for a vulvectomy.

Instead, you should report 15839 (Excision, excessive skin and subcutaneous tissue [including lipectomy]; other area) because it more precisely describes the procedure. This code also has a higher relative value than 56620 (15839 has 9.38 physician work relative value units while 56620 has 7.47, according to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule).

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