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Wound Care for Burns

Chris Posted Tue 15th of October, 2019 13:35:16 PM
Can you help us understand when we should use a burn treatment code vs a debridement code? The patient has 3rd degree burn on the right lower leg. They are returning for a "debridement" of this non healing burn. The doctor performed a debridement down to and including sub Q tissue - fat layer is exposed. 5.6 sq cm wound size. which code should be used, 11042 or 16020? I'm confused because the CPT burn codes say for "partial-thickness" burns... this is a 3rd degree burn; wouldn't that make it a 'full thickness' wound? I don't see burn care codes for full thickness. Can you help clear this up for us? Thank you
SuperCoder Answered Wed 16th of October, 2019 03:30:47 AM


Thanks for your question.

Code 11042 suggests wound debridement are reported by depth of tissue that is removed and by surface area of the wound. These services may be reported for injuries, infections, wounds and chronic ulcers.

The guidelines of 11042 suggests that, for burn wound debridement see codes range 16000-16035.

You are correct that the code 16020 suggest dressings and/or debridement of partial-thickness burns, initial or subsequent; small (less than 5% total body surface area).

A third degree burn is a full thickness burn.

Please check code 16035 for third-degree burns and your medical record documentation.

Please find below article link for detail regarding third degree burn:

If you are unable to open the link, please let us know we will provide you with the article.

Please feel free to ask if you have any questions.


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