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Common Varicose Vein Treatments

Common Varicose Vein Treatments

As more research is done regarding the relationship between varicose veins, blood clots and other complications; more and more patients are having the simple surgery and as a result there has been confusion about exactly how to code this procedure to get the fairest reimbursement for this service. 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. The answer? Break it down!

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.

Include all your documentation and be as detailed as possible, especially 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.

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