Coding for Lesion Removal: Margins Count!

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Abstract

Healthcare providers use different methods to treat/remove or destroy suspicious skin lesions. Appropriate code selection depends on the lesion morphology and the technique used, for example, removal by shave technique, destruction, or excision.

To select the appropriate code for excision of a benign or malignant skin lesion, the provider must determine the lesion’s diameter at its widest point and include the narrowest margin clinically required for complete excision of the lesion on both sides. The provider must document the size of the lesion before removal to achieve both clinical and coding accuracy.

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