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IS ICD-9 CODE `380.4` APPROPRIATE FOR AN EAR LAVAGE?

Bernadette Posted Fri 18th of October, 2013 11:57:11 AM

HI,

We wanted to know if we could still use ICD-9 code 380.4 when we perform a simple ear lavage. The patient had impacted cerumen and we removed it with colace and water (ear lavage). We would bill an E/M CPT code but we wanted to double-check about the diagnosis code. Is 380.4 appropriate?

Thanks!

SuperCoder Answered Fri 18th of October, 2013 18:01:44 PM

Yes. '380.4' is correct. You can use CPT code '69210' for the removal.

Bernadette Posted Thu 24th of October, 2013 09:49:47 AM

Hi,

Thank you for your response. We had read that if it was an ear lavage we could NOT use 69210. We could only use E/M code 99201-99215. Is this correct? Please clarify.

Thanks,

Bernadette

SuperCoder Answered Thu 24th of October, 2013 18:57:06 PM

According to Coder's Desk Reference: "Under direct visualization, the physician removes impacted cerumen (ear wax) using suction, a cerumen spoon or delicate forceps. If no infection is present, the ear canal may be irrigated." In 2014 they've revised the code to say 'using instrumentation only."

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