Clarification of coding example from “Destruction codes face overutilization challenge” article

The Oct. 25 edition of Member to Member included the article, “Destruction codes face overutilization challenge,” which offered examples of correct coding for destruction procedures. The article has been edited as follows to offer further clarification regarding appropriate code selection in instances where pathology confirms a lesion is benign:

Note: For the most definitive procedure code selection, it is recommended to hold for the pathology report. If the pathology report reveals malignant diagnosis, report a malignant destruction code from 172xx series.

If the pathology report confirms that the lesion is benign, a shave (113xx) or biopsy (11100) code is reported — depending on the procedure performed — because the destruction would generally not meet the test of medical necessity. In instances in which the lesion was symptomatic (e.g., inflamed seborrheic keratosis) and local policies allow it, a benign destruction (17110) may be reported instead.

The original article has been updated to reflect this clarification.