Kathleen Posted Wed 02nd of October, 2013 10:54:41 AM
When coding for the destruction of squamous cell carcinoma insitu and basal cell carcinoma insitu, using liquid nitrogen, should the destruction of a malignant lesion code series be used ('17270-17286')? I have a provider who said because he is just "freezing" them off he should use '17000. '17003' premalignant lesion. My understanding is the these codes are for aktinic karatoses only.
SuperCoder Answered Thu 03rd of October, 2013 00:28:38 AM
You are correct in your approach. Freezing technique wont let you change the code-
Destruction of Malignant Lesions
Codes 17260-17286 are specific to the destruction of malignant lesions, such as squamous cell carcinoma. Similar to the excision of benign lesion codes, these codes are reported on the basis of both the anatomic location of the lesion and the lesion diameter. Use codes 17260-17286 to report each lesion destroyed by any of the methods of destruction previously described.
Codes 17000-17004 are specific to the destruction of external premalignant lesions in the Integumentary System, such as actinic keratoses, by any of the methods listed in the code descriptors (ie, laser electrosurgery, cryosurgery, chemosurgery, or surgical curettment), and are reported according to the number of lesions treated.