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Foreign Body Removal Medical Billing: Take 1

Foreign Body Removal Medical Billing: Take 1

Foreign Body Removal Medical Billing: Take 1

Performing medical billing for foreign body removal can bring up many questions. A common location to remove a foreign body is from the eye. A common medical billing question is whether or not the instrument dictates which code should be used when removing of foreign body from the cornea or conjunctiva.

The quick answer to this medical billing question is: sometimes. Most of the time, instrumentation is not the most important element of foreign body removal coding. For example, when dealing with conjunctival foreign bodies, it is appropriate to use the medical billing CPT code 65205 (Removal of foreign body, external eye; conjunctival superficial) or the code 65210 (… conjunctival embedded, subconjunctival, or sclera no perforating). As you can see, these medical billing codes leave instrumentation out of the equation.

Instead of concentrating on instruments used in foreign body removal, concentrate on the location and level of penetration. For example, a superficially penetrated foreign body could be removed by a needle, cotton swab, or burr, but you’d still use the medical billing code 65205 for claims.

The equation changes somewhat when dealing with medical billing for a cornea foreign body removal. When the cornea is involved, sometimes special equipment is used for visualization. One special instrument used is the slit lamp. In this case, medical billing codes would lead be determined by instrumentation used. For example, 65220 (Removal of foreign body, external eye; corneal, without slit lamp) would be used when a slit lamp is not used. 65222 (… corneal, with slit lamp) would be used when a slit lamp is used.

When performing medical billing on any procedure, you must evaluate all possible CPT codes. Without the evaluating all possible options, you may overlook the correct answer. Medical billing is all about detail.

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