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Family Practice Coding Alert

You Be the Coder:

In-Office Wound Closure Requires More Care

Question: A patient presents with a wrist laceration through multiple muscle layers and venous or arterial bleeding, which our family physician (FP) was able to clamp but not stop. The doctor superficially closes the wound to try to control the bleeding and sends the patient to the emergency room. How should I code this?

Texas Subscriber


Answer: You should report the simple laceration repair with 12001-12007 (Simple repair of superficial wounds of scalp, neck, axillae, external genitalia, trunk and/or extremities [including hands and feet] ) depending on the wound's size. Although the FP does not intend that the repair should be the final treatment, he or she performed the procedure and should report it.