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Varicose Vein Repair Reporting Tips

Varicose Vein Repair Reporting Tips

Published by: Kathryn Etienne, CCS-P on June 20, 2007

Varicose vein treatments are becoming more and more frequent as more patients are urged to get them treated to stave off the possibility of blood clots and other issues that can crop up later if they are left unaddressed by the patient. However reporting the varicose vein treatment procedure on the medical billing may be a little confusion for some; once you know the basics for setting it up – it’s easy!

A good example would be if a patient with varicose veins in her left lower leg presents to the ED and is stating she has severe pain in her leg. One of the veins is clearly bleeding so the doctor will use a standard suture ligation to stem the bleeding and winds up removing one of the veins in the procedure. Suture ligation isn’t an uncommon way to treat a bleeding varicose vein, however there is currently no specific CPT code for it.

A good way to report this on your medical billing would be to use code 37785 (Ligation, division and/or excision of varicose vein cluster[s], one leg) for the ligation. Be sure to attach ICD-9 code 454.8 (Varicose veins of lower extremities; with other complications) to 37785 to prove medical necessity for the procedure. You should be aware that 37785 has high RVUs and may be considered by some carriers to be more indepth of a procedure than was actually performed. A good rule of thumb would be to verify directly with the specific carrier that you are reporting to and make sure they will cover the procedure as such. If they won’t a good alternative reporting method on the medical billing would be to report 12002 (Simple repair of superficial wounds of scalp, neck, axillae, external genitalia, trunk and/or extremities which includes hands and feet]; 2.6 cm to 7.5 cm) for the repair and attach ICD-9 code 454.8 to 12002 to prove medical necessity for the procedure.

Make sure your medical necessity backs up your claim and in the case of not being certain what the carrier will cover – simply ask and document the time, date and full name of whoever you speak with – this will insure all bases on your claim are covered.

Published by: on June 20, 2007

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