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Orthopedic Coding Alert

Reader Question:

Look At Global Period For Repeat Drainage Of Finger Abscess

Question: For a patient who reported back to the ED for a wound check following drainage of the simple abscess in his index finger of the right hand, our surgeon examined the wound and decided to drain it again. How do we report this repeat drainage?New York SubscriberAnswer: Since this is a repeat drainage, you need to know when after the first drainage the patient reported to the ED. There is a global period of 10 days for drainage of a finger abscess. "The global period for 26011(Drainage of finger abscess; complicated [eg, felon]) is 10 days. Repeat I&D within this period by your surgeon would require use of the 58 (Staged or Related Procedure or Service by the Same Physician During the Postoperative Period) modifier. If the patient reports to the ED within 10 days after the first time the finger abscess was drained, then you only report 26010 [...]

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